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HAMBURG, NY – The Hilbert College women’s lacrosse team connected for their highest point total this season but suffered a heart-breaking 14-13 home loss in the final seconds of the game to Houghton College. The Hawks out-performed the Highlanders (1-10) statistically, but the visitor's free-position score with 39-seconds remaining prevented an over-time period on a very cold and windy afternoon.
Seniors Nicole Blair, Maria Delmonaco and Caitlyn Jacob were honored prior to the first draw in celebration of their contributions to the inaugural season of the women’s lacrosse program competing at the Division III level.
Sarah Lorusso weaved her way to five goals (6 shots) and nine ground balls. Blair chipped in three scores and six ground balls while making both free-position shots taken. Kelly Mandell earned four draw controls constantly battling for loose balls off the restarts. Meghan Stewart was credited with 3 saves in goal for Hilbert.
Amanda Zacchigna’s six goals and eight draw controls headlined the day. The Highlanders Lauren Niswander and Carly Congilosi split time between the pipes with Congilosi getting the win.
Hilbert had three more shots (25-22) six more ground balls (30-24) three fewer turnovers (20-23) but only converted 50% of their free-position shots (4-8) as opposed to Houghton’s 4 of 5.
Hilbert spotted Houghton two goals in the game’s first 180 seconds. Then over the next five minutes, the Hawks cashed in on four straight goals to take a 4-2 lead by 20:59. Houghton closed the half with two scores closing the deficit to 7-6 before heading into a shortened half time break due to the cold.
The Highlanders forced the second tie of the game after scoring their first goal in the second half with only 61 seconds ticking off the game clock. For the next eighteen minutes each team put a hurt on the other with single scores or a string of scores.
After Houghton took a 13-12 lead (4:27), they called a time out and game planned. Their intention was to use the full field and take time off the clock. But a forced-turnover by Lorusso gave the Hawks the ball back. The royal and white stormed the length of the field and gave Rachael Bergman the ball. She beat the keeper which forced the game’s fifth tie with 1:55 remaining.
An unfortunate Hilbert foul lead to a Highlander free-position shot, and score which broke the tie. Hilbert had 00:39 seconds to force over-time, but they weren’t able to get a good look at the frame before the final horn.
Hilbert (2-7) closes their 2013 season with a night game at Mount Union College April 27. The Hawks will play under the lights (7:30 pm) against the 10-1 Raiders.
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