BOSTON, Mass. – An unfortunate bounce of the ball in the final seconds was the difference as the Rivier University Women's Lacrosse team suffered a heart-wrenching 13-12 loss to Emmanuel College this evening at Roberto Clemente Field in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action. The Raiders fall to 6-4 on the year and now sit at an even 3-3 in the GNAC. Emmanuel improves to 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
With the score deadlocked at 12-12, the Raiders had several chances to take the lead over the final few minutes of play but were denied by the EC defensive unit. Freshman goalie Lauren White (Lynnfield, Mass.) made two huge saves over the final three minutes of action including a point blank stop on a free position shot to keep the score deadlocked at 12-all.
With 1:18 left in the action, a Rivier turnover gave the Saints another offensive possession. After a successful clear, Emmanuel ran the clock down to around 20 seconds before it began its attack on the goal. The Saints moved the ball behind the net and sent several attackers right to the Raiders crease. From behind the goal, Emmanuel attempted an entry pass that was partially deflected by Raiders freshman goalie Danielle Moran (San Diego, Calif.). While attempting to come up with the groundball in the crease, the ball scooted away from Moran, crossing the goal line for the game-winning tally.
The Saints led 8-6 at halftime and were able to build what appeared to be a safe six-goal lead at 12-6, scoring the first four goals of the second half. Sophomore Sarah Wootten (Berlin, Md.) opened the half with her 15th goal of the year to make it 9-6 with 23:08 left in the action. Freshman Kristen Tuleja (Mansfield, Mass.) made it 10-6 with her team-leading 22nd goal of the year with 21:56 remaining. Emmanuel was then able to capitalize on a man-up opportunity as sophomore Alexia Basile (West Hartford, Conn.) found the back of the net to bump the lead to 11-6 with just under 20 minutes on the clock. Tuleja would then score her third goal of the game to make it 12-6 with 16:29 to play.
The Raiders comeback started with an unassisted tally by junior midfielder Rebecca Wickens (Tyngsboro, Mass.) to pull them within five at 12-7 with 16:29 on the clock. An unassisted score by Jessica Amaral (East Providence, R.I.) on a free-position shot made it 12-8 before Wickens would score again to cut the lead to three at 12-9. Amaral made it a two-goal game with her second goal of the half at the 9:40 marker and then senior middie Lauren Brett (Otisfield, Maine) would pull Rivier to within one with her 32nd score of the season with 7:13 left in the action. Wickens tied the score for the first time since ten minutes into the game at 12-12 with her game-high sixth goal with just over five minutes to play, setting the stage for the late game action.
In the opening half, Rivier got on the board first with a score by freshman Elena Reilly (Braintree, Mass.) just 1:15 into the game. Goals by freshman Monica Burdick (Pawcatuck, Conn.) and Christina Vickers (Medford, Mass.) gave Emmanuel its first lead of the night at 2-1 with 21:07 to play in the frame before Paxton LaRocque (Londonderry, N.H.) evened the score at 2-2.
The Saints would roll off four consecutive goals to make it 6-2 before Wickens ended the run with her first goal of the contest with 8:09 left in the half. EC sophomore Madison Altwies answered with a score just 40 seconds later to make it 7-3 before the Raiders went on a three-goal run of their own to pull within one at 7-6 behind a pair of Wickens goals and a score from Brett. EC senior attacker Madeline Leahy (Cohasset, Mass.) capped the scoring in the first half with a goal on a free-position shot with 39 seconds left on the clock to account for the 8-6 halftime score.
Tuleja led the way for the Saints with five points on three goals and two assists while Burdick finished with three points on two goals and one assist. Wooten recorded a game-high 11 groundballs while also causing two turnovers.
For the Raiders, Wickens finished with a game-high six goals and now has 42 on the year. Brett chipped in with three points on two goals and one assist while also grabbing four groundballs.
White, who was named this week's GNAC Goalie of the Week, posted the win making 13 to improve to 7-2 on the year while Moran made 10 saves in the losing effort.
Emmanuel returns to action on Wednesday night when they host Saint Joseph's College (Maine) at 7:00 PM while Rivier will be back in Boston the same night when they travel to Emerson College for a 6:00 PM game.