October 30, 2013

Taylor Lifts Corsairs to Overtime Victory

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Senior Eleanor Taylor (Fairhaven, Mass. / Bishop Stang) whacked home the game winning goal in overtime to lift the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth field hockey team over No. 12 Wellesley College, 3-2, on senior night at Cressy Field.

In the 76th minute, senior Devon Herlihy (Exeter, N.H. / Exeter) aggressively attacked the middle of the Wellesley defense, pushed a pass to the middle of the crease which found a cutting Taylor for her 16th mark of the year.

The win bumped the Corsairs to an overall record of 13-5, while the loss dropped the Blue to 15-3 on the season.

The first 43 minutes of play was completely dominated by Wellesley. During this time period the Blue outshot UMass Dartmouth, attempted more penalty corners and scored two goals.   

In the eight minute of regulation, Wellesley freshman Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J. / Summit) ripped a shot from the outer edge of the crease that deflected off a defender's stick and into the goal for the first goal of the match.  The assist on the play was awarded to junior Meghan Peterson.

Off a penalty corner, Sharkin's shot attempt found the stick of teammate Hannah Flesch (Rockville, Md. / Walter Johnson) to put the Blue up 2-0 with 27 minutes remaining in the game.

Facing a two goal deficit, the Corsairs turned up the offensive intensity. A shot attempt by Chelsey Campbell (Barre, Mass. / Quabbin Regional) was kicked away, landing in the vicinity of Taylor who stroked the ball in the direction of the goal. The ball was redirected by Herlihy and into the back of the net to mount the first goal of the UMass Dartmouth comeback.

In the 62 minute and with the score 2-1 in favor of Wellesley, the Corsairs were awarded a penalty corner. Sophomore Emily Anderson (Medway, Mass. / Medway) rolled the corner to Campbell in the center of the field. The junior found her target and delivered a clean pass to Victoria Dolce (Jamestown, R.I. / North Kingston) on the left side of the goal, who managed to complete a pass across the crease to freshman Hunter Carden for the equalizer.       

Wellesley had a prime opportunity to capture the win in the opening minutes of extra play. Junior Lallie Lukens (Dakar, Senegal / Episcopal) sped past a UMass Dartmouth defender along the left side of the pitch, remained unchecked while in the crease, and flipped a shot towards net. Corsair goalkeeper Lauren O'Brien (Rochester, Mass. / Old Rochester Regional) threw her body at the shot to bat it out of bounds and keep the game tied.  

The Blue's goalkeeper Brit Mscisz (Topsfield, Mass. / Pingree) made one save and dropped to 13-3. UMass Dartmouth keeper O'Brien continued her stellar play in goal as she stopped seven shots and improved her personal record to 13-5.

The Corsairs return to play on Saturday when they travel to Keene State for a 1:30 p.m. Little East matchup. A win for UMass Dartmouth can put them in an opportunity obtain for either the number one or the number two seed in the conference tournament, while a loss will drop them to the number three seed.