LEICESTER, Mass.- Elms College defeated Becker College in overtime, 18-17 in New England Collegiate Conference women's lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. After a grueling game of regulation ended in a tie, the Blazers finished off the battle in sudden death overtime. The loss for the Hawks drops them to 5-9 (2-2 NECC), while the Blazers increase their record to 6-7 (2-2 NECC).
Becker notched their first goal 1:19 into the game, from Victoria Belcher (Seekonk, Mass.). A mere 12 seconds later, Elms answered back with an unassisted goal from Jackie Soucia (Belchertown, Mass.). The two teams traded goals, neither gaining very much on the other. With 6:47 remaining in the first half, Becker took a four-goal lead, its' largest of the game, with a tally from Kailee Ruyack (Beacon, N.Y.); her third of the day. Elms didn't back down, adding four more goals on their end before time ran out, finishing the half with Becker clinging to a 9-8 lead.
In the second half, Elms was able to tie the game four times, but never took the lead from Becker. Much like the first half, the two teams went back and forth trading goals, but there was never more than a three goal difference in score. With 18:08 remaining in regulation, Erika Galdamez (Concord, Calif.) scored her fifth goal of the day off a free position shot, giving the Hawks a three goal advantage. They kept that lead for the next four minutes, until Ashley Cava (Wilbraham, Mass.) scored for the Blazers, off a pass from Jill Pirog (Ludlow, Mass.). Over the next 13 minutes, Elms went on a 5-2 run; Vanessa Vurno (Salem, Conn.) tied the game on an assist by Soucia with 1:21 remaining in regulation.
In overtime, each team had possession of the ball on their end of the field. After a turnover by Becker, Emily Brown (Agawam, Mass.) scooped up a ground ball, clearing it into Elms territory. The victory goal came just 1:09 into overtime, from Haley Roberts (Westfield, Mass.), off an assist by Cava.
Soucia led the charge for the Blazers with five goals and one assist; Pirog chipped in three goals and two assists, while Cava, Roberts, and Victoria-Lynn Smith (Somers, Conn.) contributed two apiece to the win.
The Hawks were paced by Galdamez, who scored a game-best six goals and one assist. Rachel Welling (Charlestown, N.H.) was right behind her with five goals and one assist, while Ruyack and Belcher each added three goals to the mix. Freshman Rachel Adams (Leominster, Mass.) stepped up on the defensive end, tallying an impressive six ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Elms' goalie Alissa Porfilio (Agawam, Mass.) captured 12 saves in the victory. Nikolle Storey (Cumberland, Maine) suffered the loss with eight saves for Becker.
The Hawks return to action Monday, April 18th when they host Wheelock at 4:00 p.m. The Blazers also take the field on Monday, when they travel to Bay Path for a 4:00 p.m. tilt.