FOXBORO, Mass. — In the first-ever women’s collegiate sporting event at Gillette Stadium, top-ranked Northwestern rallied from a four-goal deficit in the second half and eventually prevailed in overtime, defeating 14th-ranked Ohio State, 13-12. The Wildcats (10-0) were on the brink of defeat before Erin Fitzgerald scored her fifth goal of the day on an 8-meter attempt with 19 seconds remaining to force the extra session.
Fitzgerald’s five goals tie her previous single-game best while her six points marked a career high for the junior from Mt. Sinai, N.Y.
After a see-saw first half in which neither team led by more than one goal, Ohio State gained momentum by scoring five of the first six goals out of halftime, going up 11-7 with 19:41 to play. NU finally broke out of its offensive slump when Shannon Smith scored for the first time with 14:47 remaining, beginning a run of six consecutive Northwestern goals that carried into overtime.
Northwestern’s defense helped fuel the second-half rally, with Alex Frank coming away with four caused turnovers, three ground balls and three draw controls. Junior Taylor Thornton also stepped up with nine draw controls, four more than her previous single-game high.
NU senior netminder Brianne LoManto stopped eight Buckeye shots — including several key saves during the Wildcat comeback — while her counterpart for OSU, Tori DeScenza, came up huge for Ohio State with 16 saves in the loss.