Women’s Lacrosse Wins Overtime Thriller Over Bryant, 9-8
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy women’s lacrosse junior attacker Julia Collins (Clarksville, Md.) game-winning goal with 2:08 remaining in overtime helped Navy complete the five-goal deficit comeback to beat Bryant, 9-8, on Sunday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
After a strong first half, Bryant (3-2) scored two of the first three goals in the second half to build its largest lead of the game, 7-2, with 19:13 remaining. Leah Nocera and Lauren Britton each scored their second goal of the contest during the stretch to give the Bulldogs the advantage.
Off the ensuing draw, Collins controlled the draw and fed senior co-captain Morgan Young (Baltimore, Md.) into Bulldog territory. Young scampered down the eight-meter cone and found freshman Kelly Larkin (Alexandria, Va.), who finished off the play for her second score of the contest and cut Bryant’s lead to four, 7-3, with 19:02 left on the clock.
Larkin’s transition goal sparked a 6-0 run to give Navy its first lead of the game, 8-7, with 2:00 left. Young paced the Mids offense with three goals and one assist during the run. On the defensive end, sophomore midfielder Marie Valenti (Bechtelsville, Pa.) created a ton of havoc for the Bryant offense, tallying three of her game high five caused turnovers.
The Bulldogs, however, responded with the game-tying goal as the clock read 4.5 seconds remaining to force overtime. Following a Navy shot as the possession clock expired, Bryant’s Catlin Brown transitioned the ball down the field and scanned the Navy defense as the clock was running down and fed Emily Columbus in the middle of the eight-meter cone, who tallied her second of the game.
With the first half of overtime coming to a close, Bryant’s Columbus picked up a ground ball off a teammate shot and looked to restart the offense. Columbus looked to send her pass towards the top of the eight-meter arc, but Valenti caused her fifth turnover to end the Bulldog attack to give Navy a chance in the second half of the first overtime.
“We came out a bit slow on both sides of the ball so we needed a way to spark things in the second half,” Valenti said about Navy’s ride defense jolting life into the team in the second half. “We needed to find a way to give the offense opportunities to climb back into the game and I think we came together well to generate a ton of turnovers and gain more possessions down the stretch to help grab the win.”
As the second half of overtime began, junior Jenna Collins (Clarksville, Md.) won the draw control and gave the Mids possession. As Navy cycled the ball around, sophomore Andie O’Sullivan (Valley Cottage, N.Y.) received the ball on the right wing of the eight-meter cone with a defender coming towards her. As O’Sullivan saw the Bryant defender closing down on her, she found a wide-open Julia Collins, who caught the pass high and sent a hard bouncing shot to the far post for the game winner.
“I did not feel anyone on me, so I must have been open because Andie [O’Sullivan] fed me the perfect pass to create the opportunity,” Julia Collins said on the game-winner.
Collins’s game-winning goal was Navy’s first overtime winner since Jill Coughlin’s last-second game-winning goal to beat Lehigh, 9-8, in overtime on April 9, 2013. Navy’s five-goal comeback win over Bryant was the first time since it accomplished the feat against Colgate on April 30, 2011.
Despite the one-goal game, Navy held advantages over Bryant in shots, 48-17, draw controls, 14-6, ground balls, 24-23, caused turnovers, 10-6 and turnovers, 11-23. The Bulldogs were able to build their early lead and stay in the contest with a strong goalie play, as Sam Santeramo recorded a game-high 18 saves.
Jenna Collins extended her multi-point streak to 18 games with three points on two goals and one assist. Valenti tallied a career-best five caused turnovers, two ground balls and one draw control. Valenti’s five caused turnovers are the second highest single-game total in program history, tying Clarie Olechowski’s five caused turnovers set against High Point on Feb. 27, 2011.
Navy will open Patriot League play on Saturday against two-time defending league champion Loyola at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m. and can be seen live and for free on the Patriot League Network.