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Saint Joseph's (Maine) Athletics | April 8, 2014

Saints tip Monks in battle of unbeaten GNAC programs 15-14 in OT

PORTLAND, ME -- Emmanuel College (9-2, 8-0 GNAC) tipped Saint Joseph’s (Maine) (6-6, 5-1 GNAC) in overtime 15-14 in a battle featuring the remaining unbeaten teams in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play at Deering Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening. Saints sophomore midfielder Sarah Higgins capped an impressive five-goal performance when she netted the game-winning goal with 41 seconds remaining.

Trailing 11-9 with 17:32 left in the second half, the Monks tasted their first share of the lead all evening after freshman Elizabeth Elcock scored off a Cassie Diplock assist at the 11:50 mark and junior midfielder Lizzie Calnan knotted the game two minutes later.

Higgins provided her program with a brief 12-11 edge with 6:16 left in regulation, but freshman attack Kelsey Dumond clanged a shot off the crossbar at the 11:20 mark and answered with her third goal of the year 1:21 later to tie the game at 12-apiece.

Senior goalie Elizabeth Giacchino made a pair of crucial saves in the closing minutes to make extra play a reality. With 4:06 left, Higgins earned a free-position attempt but was stonewalled by the Monks’ keeper. Less than a minute later, freshman midfielder Amanda Cook steered a shot on the cage, but Giacchino turned the bid away to preserve the stalemate.

The Monks struck first in OT, as Dumond scored off an Elcock dish only 12 seconds into extra play to make it a 13-12 game. Sophomore midfielder Kristen Tuleja responded with an unassisted tally a minute later and junior midfielder Sarah Wootten put her team up 14-13 with her first score of the contest at the 3:57 mark. Diplock potted her fifth marker of the night on a free-position bid with 1:22 remaining, but Higgins tallied the eventual game winner 41 seconds later.

The rematch of a 2013 GNAC tournament quarterfinal contest - in which the Monks posted the program’s first postseason victory – did not disappoint as those in attendance witnessed one of the best games in the seven-year history of the program.

Junior midfielder Alexia Basile put Emmanuel on top early, scoring on a free-position attempt just 2:51 after the opening whistle. The 1-0 edge held for nearly 12 minutes, as Higgins scored twice in a matter of 90 seconds to provide the visitors with a 3-0 cushion with 15:52 remaining in the first half.

Diplock put the Monks on the board with her 41st goal of the season 48 seconds later and the hosts trailed 5-3 after freshman midfielder Jackie Wilson and Diplock countered an Emmanuel marker – scored by Tuleja – with 10:42 before the break.

A total of six goals were scored in the 10 minutes leading up to halftime and the Saints potted four of them en route to taking a 9-5 lead into intermission. Freshman midfielder Abaigeal Merrigan lifted Emmanuel to a 6-3 lead with a man-up goal at the 9:27 mark while senior attack Krystal Walsh and junior attack Madison Altweis traded scores during a two-minute span, making it a 7-4 score with 2:15 left in the first period.

Walsh proceeded to score her second goal of the night, this time off a Diplock pass a minute later, but the Saints extended their lead to 9-5 with a man-up tally from Tuleja – assisted by Merrigan – and a free-position marker from freshman attack Emily Baker in the closing 18 seconds of the opening frame.

Employing several adjustments discussed during intermission, the Monks kicked off the second stanza by netting three goals in less than three minutes to make it a one-goal game. Senior midfielder Anneka Adame punched home the first tally of the latter period off a Mary Leasure feed at the 28:23 mark while Diplock potted an unassisted marker 17 seconds later and sophomore midfielder Kat Gadbois lifted the Monks within one with a free-position score with 27:21 to play.

Eight minutes passed before the next goal was scored, as Cook potted a man-up tally to provide the Saints with a 10-8 advantage with 19:11 on the game clock.

Diplock continued the back and forth theme with a free-position strike at the 18:52 mark, but Higgins countered with her third goal of the evening 80 seconds later to extend the Saints’ lead back to two 11-9.

For the Monks, Diplock tallied five goals and three assists, Walsh and Dumond potted a pair of goals apiece and Elcock recorded a goal and an assist on the night. Senior Rachelle Messuri corralled six ground balls with four caused turnovers while Wilson added seven draw controls in the losing bid.

For the Saints, Higgins added eight draw controls, four ground balls and three caused turnovers to her impressive goal count and Tuleja contributed three goals and a pair of helpers along with four draw controls in the conference victory. Basile scored twice and added an assist while Wootten and Merrigan posted a goal and an assist apiece versus the Monks.

Giacchino suffered the loss after making six saves while logging 42 minutes in net during the second half and overtime frames. Senior goalie Haley Nason got the start in net and made eight saves in 30 minutes between the posts.

Sophomore keeper Lauren White was stellar in goal, making 15 saves in 72 minutes of play.