Score: Ithaca 11, Wesleyan 10 (OT)
Records: Wesleyan (11-6); Ithaca (14-4)
Location: Middletown, Conn. (Smith Field)
Date: Sunday, May 14
Time: 1 p.m.
The Lead: Ally Runyon went the length of the field in the closing seconds of the first overtime and found the back of the net with :02 on the clock to lift the 17th-ranked Ithaca College women's lacrosse team to a thrilling win over No. 16 Wesleyan University, 11-10, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Cardinals came out hot to start the game, as Abigail Horst '19 scored the first goal at the 26:47 mark.
- Runyon tied it less than two minutes later with a free position shot, but Wesleyan went on a 4-0 run to take a 5-1 lead with 20:42 on the clock.
- The Bombers ended the streak at the 15:44 mark before Meredith Smith '17 found the back of the net four minutes later to put the Cardinals back up by four (6-2).
- Ithaca went on a 3-0 run beginning at the 8:21 mark, which was capped off by an unassisted goal by Maeve Cambria with 4:15 remaining, to get within one.
- However, Antonia Kaz '19 sent one past goalkeeper Kim Presuto with 2:16 left to play as Wesleyan held a 7-5 lead at halftime.
- Horst and Smith led the home team at the break with two goals each, while Runyon scored two goals for the Bombers.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Ithaca cut the deficit to one early in the second half following a goal from Morgan Cadwell (25:27).
- The Cardinals regained a two-goal advantage at the 18:36 mark by taking advantage of a man-up opportunity as Rachel Aronow '17 sent one into the back of the net.
- With 15:25 remaining in regulation, the Bombers went on another 3-0 run beginning with a goal by Runyon. Morgan Racicot scored on a free position attempt with 8:28 remaining to give the visitor's their first lead of the game (9-8).
- Smith assisted on Kaz's second goal just over a minute later to even the game at 9-9.
- Runyon scored her second free position goal with 3:16 to play to give the visitor's another lead, but Mathias sent the game into overtime with a nifty move starting from behind the net as she slipped one right inside the bottom right post and past Presuto's stick with 1:26 in regulation.
- The Cardinals had two attempts in the closing seconds but came up short as Smith's shot with the time expiring was saved by Presuto.
- Wesleyan won the opening draw and held possession for the majority of the first three minutes.
- Eventually, the Cardinals went for the win and Horst's shot in the closing seconds hit the post. Presuto picked up the ground ball and found Runyon, who sprinted down the field and sent her shot into the back of the net with just :02 remaining on the clock.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Four players scored two goals for the Cardinals – Horst, Kaz, Mathias and Smith. Aronow and Emma Richards '20 each added a goal, and Smith recorded an assist as well to lead the team with three points. Aronow and Caroline Sgaglione '19 led the team with four ground balls each, while Aronow and Leah Giacalone '17 caused two turnovers a piece.
- Runyon led all players with five goals and five draws, while Morgan Cadwell added three goals. Allison Panara had a game-high two assists, and Olivia Oppenheim picked up four ground balls. Defensively, Elizabeth Sauer led all players with three caused turnovers.
- The difference in the game proved to be free position shots as Ithaca scored on 5-of-10 attempts, while the Cardinals went 1-of-4.
- Both teams recorded 18 ground balls, and Wesleyan finished 16-of-18 on clear attempts. The Cardinals also outshot the Bombers, 29-21.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Wesleyan's historic season comes to an end as it finished 11-6 overall and set program records in overall wins (11) and NESCAC victories (7). It was also the team's first winning season since 2007.
- The Cardinals ranked within the top-20 for the majority of the season, and qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time in program history.
- Seniors Meredith Smith and Liana Mathias will go down in the record books as two of Wesleyan's all-time leading scorers. Smith finished her impressive career with 124 points on 98 goals and 26 assists to rank fifth all-time, while Mathias ranks eighth with 111 career points on 74 goals and 37 assists.