Simmons Lacrosse Advances to GNAC Championship
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Greer Gilbert (Falmouth, Mass.) scored with 27 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the No. 3 Sharks over the No. 7 Norwich University Cadets, 9-8 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinal showdown Friday afternoon at MIT.
The Cadets scored first as Grace Fitzpatrick tallied her first of three. Chandler Camlin doubled the score to 2-0 off a behind the net pass from Fitzpatrick. Rachel Wallace (Braintree, Mass.) put the Sharks on the scoreboard with just over 13 minutes remaining off a beautiful pass from Gilbert to cut the Cadets lead to one but Fitzpatrick found the back of the net again for a 3-1 lead.
Rachel Wallace added her second goal of the half off a free position shot but Fitzpatrick was relentless, as Norwich maintained a two-goal lead. Gilbert beat Cadets goalkeeper Cheyenne Mata-Notel down low to bring the Sharks within one and Stephanie Oliveri (Waltham, Mass.) found Wallace driving to the net to the tie the game at four before time expired in the half.
In the second half, neither team led by more than one goal. Camilin put the Cadets up 5-4 to start the half but a Norwich turnover gave the Sharks back the ball as Oliveri converted to again tie the game. The Cadets took the lead again when Hope Royce scored on a man down free position shot, 6-5.
After a stellar save by Crystal Derosier (Kingston, Mass.), Oliveri tallied her second of the half with 12:18 remaining to again knot the score at six. Norwich won the draw control and drew a foul in the eight but Derosier came up with a huge save.
Larissa Gokey gave Norwich a 7-6 lead with 11:10 to play. Norwich won the draw but Derosier came up with another save on Royce and was able to clear to the Simmons offensive end. Megan Coffey (Wilmot Flat, N.H.) caused a Cadets turnover to regain possession and Gilbert drew the foul and beat Mata-Notel on the free position to tie it at seven.
With under ten minutes remaining, the Sharks won the draw control but Norwich picked up a ground ball and Fitzpatrick fired on Derosier but was unable to convert. Norwich scored during a man up possession on a Simmons yellow card but less than a minute later, Gilbert won the draw and found Callie Warnock, who buried a shot in the top corner to tie the game at eight. In the last five minutes of the half, both goaltenders came up big with saves on free position shots to send the game into overtime.
The Sharks recorded all four shots taken in overtime but Mata-Notel kept the Cadets in the game with big saves off shots from Oliveri, Gilbert and Wallace. With three minutes remaining in overtime, the Sharks found themselves beat with only one defender back in a two on one Norwich advantage. Junior defender Seneca Martensson kept her cool and made the interception to regain possession for the Sharks. With 27 seconds remaining, the game looked to be headed toward double overtime but Leanne Luke (Newton, Mass.) found Wallace on the left side of the field who then made a perfect pass to Gilbert, who was driving in from the right. Gilbert beat Mata-Notel up high to send the Sharks to their first-ever GNAC Championship game on Sunday, April 28th.
Sophomore Crystal Derosier picks up the win with her stellar performance in net, recording 12 saves on 22 shots, while Mata-Notel takes the loss for the Cadets.
The Sharks will face No. 1 seed Lasell College in the GNAC Championship on Sunday.