Lacrosse (W)

Late Comeback by Women's Lacrosse Ends With Hunt's OT Winner

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HICKORY, N.C. -- Nicole Hunt (Pleasant Garden, N.C./SE Guilford) scored 30 seconds into overtime as Catawba rallied from three goals down in the final five and half minutes to top host Lenoir-Rhyne 12-11 in South Atlantic Conference women’s lacrosse action on Saturday afternoon at Moretz Stadium.  The win improves the Catawba Indians to 13-4 overall and 5-3 in the SAC.  The Bears fall to 10-7 and 5-3.

Catawba played from behind nearly the entire game and never led until Hunt’s free-position shot beat Bear goalie Ines Flueck in overtime.  Torrey Schwitkis put Lenoir-Rhyne on top just 2:07 into the game and the Bears led from there until Kirstyn Kruse (Sagamore Beach, Mass./Williston Northampton Prep) tied the game with 3:04 remaining.

The Bears pulled ahead 10-6 on a goal from Brooke Ouderkirk with 12:39 left.  Katie Barth (Baltimore, Md./Sparrows Point) and Nicolette Salay (Columbus, N.J./N. Burlington Regional) scored for Catawba to trim the deficit to 10-8, but Schwitkis made it 11-8 on her final goal with 5:31 remaining.

Catawba then staged its comeback.  Gianna Pezzulo (Henniker, N.H./Cushing Academy) won the ensuing draw control and fed Barth for a goal in just 14 seconds.  Hannah Scott (Centreville, Md./Queen Anne’s Co.) took the next draw control and Barth converted a free-position shot with 4:23 left to make it 11-10.

Lenoir-Rhyne had control after the second goal, but Salay caused a turnover.  Catawba moved the ball to midfield where Barth knocked a loose ball ahead to Pezzulo, who found Kruse open for the tying goal.  The Bears had three free-position shots in the final 1:14, but failed to score with Madison Anselmo (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Comsewogue) saving the final attempt with nine seconds remaining.

Crista Clayton (Jacksonville Beach, Fla./Fletcher) claimed the draw control for Catawba to start the overtime.  Hunt drew two fouls that led to free-position attempts and cashed in on the second to secure a home tournament game for the Lady Indians.

Catawba remains undefeated in seven overtime contests in the program’s history.  Barth led the Lady Indians with four goals.  Pezzulo notched a pair of goals and delivered four assists.  Anselmo collected 14 saves.

The Bears got three goals from Schwitkis, Gabby Sousa and Alyssa Sack.  Sack added two assists.  Flueck made 11 saves.

The teams will meet again in the first round of the SAC Tournament on Tuesday at 7 pm, this time Catawba will serve as the host.

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