Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/3/19
From Press Release
Emily Schulze (North Penn) ripped a shot past Seton Hill’s goalkeeper with six seconds left in the first overtime today to lift sixth-ranked West Chester to a thrilling 16-15 victory over visiting Seton Hill in the semifinals of the 2019 PSAC Women’s Lacrosse Tournament at Vonnie Gros Field.
West Chester (16-2) will play for its conference-record 22nd PSAC title on Sunday at home (1 p.m.) against East Stroudsburg (14-4), which was an 8-7 overtime winner against Mercyhurst (13-6) in the other semifinal Friday afternoon.
Schulze’s 23rd-goal of the season came off an assist from Maddie Staska (Bishop Shanahan) following a frantic clear by the Golden Rams, who gained possession in their own end with 22 seconds remaining. Lexi Einsig (Exeter Twp.) took the ball on the restart and hit a streaking Staska in stride around midfield. Staska took a few steps and then found Schulze around the 25-meter line all alone.
“The plan was to get the ball up the field as quickly as possible. The ball moves faster in the air,” West Chester head coach Ginny Martino said afterwards. “Maddie (Staska) found Emily making a cut.”
Things looked bleak for the home team late in the second half when Seton Hill rattled off five out of six goals in a seven-minute stretch that gave the Griffins a three-goal lead (15-12) with eight minutes to play.
“They just kept winning draws,” Martino said. “We threw everything we had at them. We even threw the kitchen sink at ’em, and (Seton Hill) just kept coming up with the draws. Our ‘D’ was tired.”
However, West Chester answered with a three-goal run of its own to tie the game with just over three minutes to play in regulation. Trisha Baud (West Deptford) started the run at 8:20, and Tara Morrissey (Downingtown West) added an “up” goal at the 6:26 mark. Sami Barnett (Interboro) tied the game at 3:47 with her 47th tally of the year.
In overtime, junior goalkeeper Nicole Martins (Saucon Valley) made a pair of big saves, including one on a free position, to keep her team alive and dodge the Griffins’ upset bid. She came on in relief of starter Julianne Clemens (Springfield-DELCO) at the 13-minute mark of the second half and picked up her first win of the season.
“I knew I had to make that save on the free position. I was just trying to cut off any angle I could trying not to give the shooter anything to shoot at,” Martins said after the game. “It was definitely nerve-wracking. But, I knew my teammates had my back.”
The game was back-and-forth all afternoon with 10 ties and seven lead changes.
Seton Hill’s Mackenzie Kilduff led all scorers with seven goals in the contest. Barnett scored four times for the Golden Rams while Morrissey finished with six points (2G, 4A). Tatum Altman finished the contest with five points (2G, 3A), including assisting on West Chester’s final two goals in regulation to help knot the contest and send it into overtime.
West Chester and East Stroudsburg meet for the second time this year. The Warriors handed the Golden Rams one of the team’s two defeats on the year, 15-14 in overtime, back on March 27. Friday’s win marked the first triumph in extra time for West Chester this spring. Both of the Rams’ defeats in 2019 have come in overtime.