FIFTH-SEED WILLIAMS ADVANCES TO NESCAC FINAL WITH THRILLING 11-10 OVERTIME WIN AT TUFTS
WOMEN'S LACROSSE FINAL SCORE
NESCAC Tournament Semifinal
Williams 11, Tufts 10 OT
At Medford, MA
Saturday, May 2, 2009
|First-year Stephanie Perez scored with three
seconds left in regulation to send the game to OT
MEDFORD -- Williams College scored three goals in the final 1:45 of the second overtime period to stun top seed Tufts University, 11-10, in the semifinal round of the NESCAC women's lacrosse tournament on Saturday afternoon at Bello Field. The Ephs (12-5) advance to the conference championship game, where they will play Colby College on Sunday beginning at noon.
Seeded fifth in the tournament and ranked 15th nationally, Williams seemed to have fifth-ranked Tufts defeated in regulation. The visitors led 8-7 and had possession as time wound down under 30 seconds. However, the Ephs turned the ball over while trying to run out the clock and were whistled for yellow card near midfield with nine seconds to go. Jumbo sophomore Alyssa Kopp (Hollis, NH) raced against the clock from there and dished to first-year Stephanie Perez (East Providence, RI), who scored with 3.2 seconds remaining to tie the game at 8-8.
In the first of two three-minute overtime periods (non-sudden death), Tufts sophomore Amanda Roberts (Wenham, MA) scored twice to give the Jumbos a 10-8 lead. Williams was then whistled for another yellow card in the second OT period, forcing them to play the remainder while down a player. A Tufts turnover and a ground ball by Williams junior Tracey Ferriter (Winchester, MA) led to an Ephs goal by junior Alice Nelson (Hanover, NH), assisted by senior Britt Spackman (Newton, MA), making it 10-9 with 1:45 on the clock. Spackman controlled the next draw, raced down the field and fed senior Julia Nawrocki (Winchester, UK) at the right post for a goal that tied the game at 10-10 with 1:33 remaining. The Ephs again controlled the draw, with junior Whitney Thayer (Lancaster, PA) getting it, and Spackman scored with just 15 seconds to go to put Williams up 11-10. The Jumbos won the final draw, but could only manage a shot from far away as time expired.
Williams, which was the only team to beat Tufts (14-2) during the regular season, and which has won every meeting with the Jumbos since 1995, led 6-3 at the half. Junior Tina Nawrocki (Winchester, UK) scored twice in the first 30 minutes and sister Julia had a goal and two assists. Eph sophomore goalie Julia Schreiber (Cockeysville, MD), outstanding for most of the game, had eight saves in the first half.
Tufts had the better of the play in the second half, out-scoring Williams 5-2. Consecutive goals by senior Courtney Thomas (Needham, MA) and Roberts pulled Tufts within 7-6 at 15:14. Tina Nawrocki scored for Williams at 9:06, but Roberts at 5:47 and Johnson in the final seconds sent it to overtime for the Jumbos.
The Nawrocki sisters combined for seven points in the game, with Tina scoring three and Julia finishing with two goals and two assists. Spackman tallied four points, with the game-winning goal and three helpers, and controlled three draws. Senior Elizabeth Burns (Dover, DE) played well defensively with five caused turnovers and three ground balls. Schreiber (18 saves) led Williams with four ground balls.
Roberts scored a game-high five goals for Tufts. First-year Lara Kozin (Suffern, NY) with three assists and Thomas with a goal and two assists added to the Jumbo offense. Kopp scooped up four ground balls and won four draws, while first-years Kelly Cakert (Sudbury, MA) and Perez both caused three turnovers. Senior goalie Sara Bloom (Summit, NJ) made six saves.
Tufts finished with a 40-23 advantage in shots, including 20-5 in the second half. Schreiber held them to just two goals on nine free-position shots. Williams moves on to Sunday's final against Colby, which defeated Middlebury 17-12 in Saturday's other semifinal.