BOSTON, Mass. – The Emmanuel College Women's Lacrosse Team battled Lasell College for 66 minutes, before pulling out a 13-12 overtime victory to clinch 1st place in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) standings. Saturday afternoon's big win at Roberto Clemente Field stretched the Saints' win streak to six games and marked Emmanuel's first-ever win over Lasell College. The Saints remain undefeated in GNAC action at 9-0 and improve to 10-2 on the season. The loss dropped Lasell to 7-6 overall and 5-3 in the league.
The Lasers jumped out to an early three goal advantage, holding a 4-1 lead midway through the first half. The Saints struck first with a free position shot by Kristen Tuleja (Mansfield, Mass.) at 24:21. The Lasers then fired off four answered tallies with Britney Wuorio (Bolton, Mass.) scoring the first and assisting on two more during the spree.
The hosts soon answered with a 3-0 run of their own, including goals by Tuleja, Sarah Higgins (Groveland, Mass.) and Amanda Cook (Saco, Me.). Junior captain Sarah Wootten (Berlin, Md.) provided assists on two of the Emmanuel goals during the run, as the Saints tied the game at 4-all with 6:24 left to play in the half.
Wuorio scored again for Lasell for her 43rd goal of the season, giving the Lasers a one-goal lead with 5:18 to play. The Saints recovered quickly, rattling off another three-goal run. Wootten found the back of the net off an assist from Madison Altwies (Southington, Conn.). Alexia Basile (West Hartford, Conn.) scored during a man-up opportunity and Wootten assisted on another Higgins goal with just 9 seconds remaining in the half. The Saints carried their 7-5 lead into the break, having outshot the Lasers, 15-11 in the opening half.
Lasell scored quickly out of the break with an unassisted tally from Bridget Doherty (Franklin, Mass.), but the one-goal deficit was the closest the Lasers would get over the next twenty minutes of action. Consecutive unassisted markers just a minute and a half apart from Higgins and Tuleja put EC out in front by three, 9-6, with 25:27 on the clock.
The two squads would trade two goals at either end over the next ten minutes and Emmanuel held an 11-8 lead with just under 14 minutes to go. The Lasers then heated up with Taylor Dooley (Barnstable, Mass.) and Toni Minelli (Newington, Conn.) scoring and the visitors trailed 11-10 with 10:50 left.
Wootten converted a free position shot on a man-up situation to give Emmanuel a 12-10 lead, but the Lasers got consecutive scores from Doherty to tie the game at 12-all at the end of regulation.
Emmanuel got its game-winner from Higgins, who scored her fifth goal of the game and 29th of the season off a free position attempt two and a half minutes into overtime. Tough Saints defense held the Lasers scoreless for the final 3:31 and Emmanuel pulled out the hard-fought victory.
Higgins finished with a game-high five goals on the day. Tuleja added 3 goals, while Wootten finished with 2 goals and 4 assists in the win. Freshman middie Savannah Lundwall (Fiskdale, Mass.) recorded a game-high 6 groundballs for the Saints.
Doherty led the Lasers with 4 goals an one assist, while Wuorio added two goals and three helpers. Caitlyn Brecher (Cheshire, Conn.) notched two goals and an assist in the effort for Lasell.
Stellar in net for the Saints was sophomore goalie Lauren White (Lynnfield, Mass.), who made 6 saves and picked up her 10th win of the season.
Junior goalie Alexa Katsigianis (Amherst, N.H.) took the loss in net for the Lasers, but made 11 saves in the effort.
Emmanuel has just one remaining GNAC contest. The Saints will host Norwich University this Tuesday night (4/15) at 7:00 PM, in their final regular season home game of the year. Lasell plays at Mount Ida College on Tuesday in a 3:30 PM start.