MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Trailing by two with less than a minute remaining in regulation, Caitlin Wood '19 scored twice including the game-tying goal on a free position attempt with just nine seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime. Minutes later, Abby Manning '20 secured the come-from-behind win with an impressive score between two defenders with 54 seconds to play in OT as the 12th-ranked Wesleyan University women's lacrosse team rallied to defeat No. 19 Colby College Saturday afternoon on Smith Field.
Manning split two defenders and with her back facing the goal, shoveled a reverse toss into the back of the net for her third goal of the game as the Cardinals improved to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the ultra-competitive NESCAC. Four different players scored two goals for the Mules as they drop to 5-4 and 1-4.
- Colby came out hot to start the game and wasted no time getting on the board as Robyn Pirie found the back of the net just 34 seconds into play. The Mules added two more goals shortly after to claim a 3-0 lead at the 26:11 mark.
- Wesleyan snapped the Mules' run less than two minutes later when Sydney Prokupek scored the Cardinals' first goal of the game off a free position shot.
- Both teams exchanged goals the rest of the half but with just 26 seconds remaining in the first, Wood connected with Manning to cut the deficit to two, 6-4, entering the break.
- The second half featured runs from both teams, with Wesleyan coming out strong.
- After a goal by both squads, the Cardinals went on a 3-0 run from 22:39-to-15:09 to take their first lead of the game. Abigail Horst '19 evened the score at 7-7 with a strong take towards the net as she dodged defenders and rifled one into the back of the net. Just over three minutes later, Prokupek put the home team ahead with a score off an assist from Julia Gretsky '20.
- Colby responded, however, with a 3-0 run of its own. Grace Crowell tied the game at 8-8 and just 49 seconds later, Maddie Hatch scored off a free position shot to put the visitors back on top. With 7:36 to play, Sasha Fritts gave Colby a two-goal advantage.
- Horst got Wesleyan within one with 3:42 remaining but Fritts took advantage of a player-up opportunity and gave the Mules another two-goal lead with 2:23 to play in regulation.
- With the momentum in Colby's favor, the Cardinals didn't back down and a penalty on the visitors gave Wesleyan a player-up advantage. Wood capitalized off the opportunity and found the back of the net with just 42 seconds to play. Seconds later, the junior had a free position shot and fired one past Colby goalkeeper Izzy Scribano to even the score at 11-11 with only nine seconds remaining in regulation.
- The Mules won the ensuing draw control and were able to get a shot off right before time expired but Wesleyan goalkeeper Allegra Grant '20 came up big and deflected the attempt.
- A thrilling overtime period came down to the final minute when Manning scored the game-winner with just 54 seconds to play.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Horst, Manning and Wood each scored three times for the Cardinals while Wood added an assist to lead all players with four points. Prokupek registered three points off two goals and one assist, and Indigo Pellegrini de Paur '21 led Wesleyan with six draw controls. Grant was terrific in net once again for Wesleyan as she finished with 12 saves.
- Emma Banks, Fritts, Hatch and Kendall Smith each scored twice for the Mules, while Hatch added an assist to lead the team with three points. Hatch recorded six draw controls and Jackie Brokaw led all players with four caused turnovers.
- Wesleyan outshot Colby, 38-32, and held a 17-16 edge in ground balls and 14-12 advantage in draw controls.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Today's win marked Wesleyan's first over Colby since the 2007 season. The Cardinals had lost 12-straight against their NESCAC foe entering Saturday's matchup.
- Wesleyan also avenged its NESCAC Quarterfinal overtime loss against the Mules a year ago, in which Colby won 8-7 at home.
- The Cardinals are back in action Wednesday, April 4 for a difficult Little Three matchup against No. 7 Amherst on the road. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.