May 22, 2010

By Jeff Seidel
Special to

Gettysburg, Pa. - Jackie Hoover scored the game-winning goal with 1minute, 17 seconds left in the first overtime period to complete a stunning comeback and give West Chester a 9-8 victory over Lock Haven in an NCAA Division II women's lacrosse semifinal Saturday at Gettysburg College.

West Chester (19-1) will play the winner of the other Division II semifinal between C.W. Post and Adelphi in Sunday's 3 p.m. national championship game. The Golden Rams now are 8-0 in national semifinals, and this will be their eighth title game appearance. They won the championship in 2008.

Lock Haven (16-2) routed the Golden Rams, 16-6, in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference final on May 1. The Eagles appeared en route to another rout, holding an 8-3 lead midway through the second half, when everything began to change.

Claire Grimwood scored with 14:03 left, and Nicole Haines added another goal just 43 seconds later. That seemed to energize West Chester, which got goals from Lauren Glassey and Gabrielle Stitz to make it 8-7.

Hoover then forced overtime by scoring with 1:27 left. Goalie MacKenzie O'Keefe made two tough saves in the final seconds of regulation - one of which hit her face mask - to keep the game going.

The overtime is comprised of two three-minute periods that are played out. Hoover got the ball after the Golden Rams held it for awhile in the first overtime and scored from in front for the 9-8 lead. West Chester scored the game's final six goals.

Grimwood led the Golden Rams with two goals and one assist. Hoover and Haines both added two goals. O'Keefe finished with 11 saves in a strong effort.

Kayleigh Johnson led Lock Haven with five points (one goal, four assists). Leigh Titus added four goals. Goalie Kira Nuttall helped the Eagles stay alive during West Chester's furious second-half rush by making nine of her 12 saves in that half.