HAMDEN, Conn. - Senior captain Lauren Matuszczak (East Longmeadow, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal just 16 seconds into the second overtime period to extend the Quinnipiac women's lacrosse win streak to six games and defeat Denver, 16-15, on Sunday afternoon at Quinnipiac Field Hockey & Lacrosse Turf Field. Junior Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) also contributed three goals and one assist on the afternoon, as the Bobcats improve to 6-3 on the season overall. The Pioneers falls to 3-9 on the season.
"I am incredibly proud of the team for the way they hung in there against a tough, physical Denver squad," said head coach Danie Caro. "They got the job done when it counted."
The game-winning goal came immediately following the opening draw control of the second overtime period. Junior Devon Gibney (Hopkinton, Mass.) won the draw control for Quinnipiac and advanced the ball up field to sophomore Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.). Allen found a streaking Matuszczak who buried her opportunity past Denver's goalie Ashley Harman. Matuszczak, who now has 19 goals on the season, also collected one assist, one ground ball and one draw control on the afternoon.
"The team played to win in overtime and Devon Gibney, Sarah Allen and Lauren Matuszczak stepped up and delivered for us," said Caro.
Senior Christine Sinnigen (Sudbury, Mass.) led the Bobcats with five points (three goals, two assists) in the game, followed by Caroleo's four points and senior Laura Iannotti's (Rocky Point, N.Y.) three goal outing. Gibney (two goals) and sophomore Lianne Toomey (Hicksville, N.Y.) (one goal, one assist) each chipped in with two points, while senior Jennifer Skipper (Centerport, N.Y.) and sophomore Chelsea Guerrera (Wantagh, N.Y.) both scored one goal.
Quinnipiac had another strong defensive performance from its senior captain Kaitlyn Kelly, who led all field players with four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Skipper's aggressive play led to her collecting a game-high seven draw controls.
"Kaitlyn Kelly dominated on defense for us," said Caro. "Every time we needed a big stop on defense, she came up with the ball for us."
Bobcats goalkeeper Noelle Martello (Westbury, N.Y.) recorded a season-high 14 saves in net, earning her sixth win of the season. She also collected a team-high five ground balls. Her counterparts, Lauren Benner and Ashley Harman combined to make 12 saves for the Pioneers.
"I thought Noelle Martello came up big in the second half and the overtimes and we had a balanced attack once again," said Caro.
The Pioneers were led by Kara Secora (five goals, five assists), followed by Tulley Stapp (three goals), Annabelle Gilbride (two goals, one assist), Lauren Ciccomascolo (two goals), Becca Steinberg (two goals), and Mikayla Clark's one goal outing.
Quinnipiac and Denver played an even first half, evident by the 8-8 halftime score. The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead on two goals from Caroleo and one from Guerrera, but Denver's two quick goals cut the lead to 3-2. Quinnipiac followed with its second three-goal run of the game, receiving goals from Gibney, Matuszczak and Sinnigen to increase its lead, 6-2, with 18:02 remaining in the half. The Pioneers rattled off six straight goals to take the 8-6 lead with 6:05 remaining in the half. The Bobcats finished the first half with goals from Sinnigen and Iannotti.
Skipper gave the Bobcats the lead with three minutes elapsed in the second half, yet Denver would re-tie the score, 9-9, with 24:27 remaining. Quinnipiac extended its lead to 12-9 following three straight goals (two from Iannotti, one from Gibney). The two teams traded the next two goals before Denver went on a three goal spurt to tie the score at 13 apiece with 8:37 remaining in the game. Toomey gave the Bobcats the lead, 14-13, with 4:27 to go, however a Denver goal with 1:01 remaining tied the score and sent the teams into overtime.
Caroleo scored for the Bobcats with 22seconds remaining in the first period of the first overtime. The Pioneers found the back of the net with 44 seconds remaining in the second period of the first overtime to send the game into a sudden-death second overtime, where Matuszczak would find the eventual game winner.
The Bobcats return to action on Wednesday, Apr. 6 when they travel to face non-conference opponent Columbia at 3 p.m. in New York, N.Y.