April 28, 2012

Late Goal Propels #2 Springfield Past #3 Wheaton in NEWMAC Women's Lacrosse Semifinal

BABSON PARK, Mass.—First-year Michelle Dorsey (Wilbraham, Mass.) scored a free position goal with 11 seconds remaining in the second half to break a 6-6 deadlock, lifting second-seeded Springfield College to a 7-6 victory over third-seeded Wheaton College in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinal this afternoon at MacDowell Field on the campus of Babson College.

With the victory, Springfield College (10-7) will make its fourth straight trip to the NEWMAC Championship game, and face Babson College tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. With the loss, Wheaton College sees its season end at 12-6.

Sophomore Kelly Gallo (Westfield, Mass.) scored three times to lead the Springfield attack, while Dorsey, senior Jackie Moscardelli (Weymouth, Mass.), junior Meghan Flanagan (Averill Park, N.Y.), and junior Jennifer Califano (Suffern, N.Y.) each added a goal apiece for the Pride. Moscardelli and junior Allie Davis (Fairfield, Mass.) both chipped in with an assist.

Sophomore Charlotte DeSantis (Darien, Conn.) scored three times and had an assist to lead Wheaton. Sophomore Leila Mills (Brunswick, Maine), junior Amy Moreira (Bristol, R.I.), and senior Hailey Colburn (Concord, N.H.) each scored once. Colburn finishes the season with 76 goals, and for her career tallied 189 goals and totaled 260 points.

Wheaton drew first blood, scoring on its opening possession of the game to take a 1-0 lead at 26:39. First-year goalie Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass.) got the play started sprinting the through the midfield and into the offensive zone on a clear attempt before helping to set a free position attempt. Moreira drove hard to the net on her free position opportunity and had her initial shot blocked,  but collected the ground ball and beat Springfield goalie Anne Versprille (Franklin, Mass.) with the rebound for the game’s first goal.

Just over two minutes later Flanagan got Springfield on the board, forcing a Wheaton turnover on the clear at midfield and scored on a breakaway to even the game at 24:32. The Lyons responded as Sydney Ferguson (Jamestown, R.I.) controlled the draw and Mills found the back of the net for a 2-1 lead at 24:09. Gallo scored her first goal of the day for the Pride on a free position shot at 22:40 to again draw Springfield even at 2-2.

Wheaton scored the game’s next two goals, twice converting Springfield turnovers into scores to grab its biggest lead of the day, 4-2, at the 17:04 mark of the first half. Colburn converted a pass from DeSantis for her only goal of the day at 20:13, and DeSantis followed with her first of the day just over three minutes later for the two-goal bulge. Califano’s second goal of the season halved the Wheaton lead with 8:31 remaining before halftime, and with both defenses playing well and both keepers making big saves, the Lyons carried a 4-3 lead into intermission.

The defenses continued to dominate the early minutes of the second half before Gallo finished a free-position attempt for Springfield at 22:58 to tie the game at 4-4. The Pride would take their first lead of the day just minutes later as Moscardelli scored her team-leading 43rd goal of the season to make it 5-4. The Lyons came right back though, as DeSantis notched her second goal of the day on a free position shot to even the game at 5-5 with 18:10 remaining.

Gallo’s third goal of the day, this time off pass from Moscardelli as she cut to the net, put the Pride back in front at 6-5 with 14:51 remaining. Ananian made two key saves to keep the Springfield lead at one, and following a save on Gallo she started the clear with a long outlet pass to DeSantis who charged down the right sideline and found the space to beat Versprille low at the far post, tying the game at 6-6 with 4:59 to go.

The final five minutes saw both goalies make game-saving stops, setting up Dorsey’s late heroics. Following a Wheaton timeout with 22 seconds remaining, the Pride forced a turnover deep in the Lyons’ defensive zone to regain possession. Flanagan hit Dorsey streaking across the middle of the field, who was fouled as she attacked the cage, setting up the final scoring opportunity.

Verspille made nine stops in the win for Springfield while Ananian stopped 13 shots and had a game-high five groundballs for Wheaton.

First-year Ellie Getchell (Franklin, Mass.) led Springfield with four groundballs and four caused turnovers, while Dorsey collected a team-high three draw controls.

Colburn had a game-high seven draw controls for Wheaton and sophomore Devon Soucier (Avon, Conn.) forced two turnovers.

Springfield will now meet Babson in tomorrow afternoon’s NEWMAC Championship game for the fourth consecutive season. The Beavers beat the Pride 15-12 in the teams’ regular season meeting on March 31 in Babson Park. 

Release courtesy of Babson College Sports Information