Simpson's Overtime Goal Lifts Women's Lacrosse Past Tufts in NESCAC Semifinals

Simpson's Overtime Goal Lifts Women's Lacrosse Past Tufts in NESCAC Semifinals

Hartford, Conn. – Trinity College sophomore midfielder Karly Simpson (South Hadley, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal with five seconds left in overtime off a feed from senior Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H) as the Bantams defeated the visiting Tufts University Jumbos, 8-7, in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament Semifinals at Robin L. Sheppard Field.

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With the win, the hosts improved to 16-1 overall and will square off with the winner of this afternoon's tilt between Middlebury and Bowdoin in tomorrow's NESCAC Championship. With the loss, the Jumbos move to 11-6 on the year.

In a game that saw plenty of dramatic action, there were six lead changes and five ties, as the two squads went back and forth all afternoon. With Trinity clinging to a one-goal lead late in regulation, Tufts held the ball for the final two and a half minutes. During that stretch, the Jumbos took four shots all wide of the cage before junior midfielder Brigid Bowser (Westborough, Mass.) tied the game at six on a free-position shot with just three seconds left on the clock.

In the first three minutes of overtime, the Bantams won the opening draw control, but the Jumbos gained possession following a Trinity turnover. Tufts made the Bantams pay as Bowser struck again, netting her fourth goal of the game to give the visitors a 7-6 edge. Bowser's marker came with 15 seconds left on the clock and gave the Jumbos their first lead of the contest.

Tufts won the draw control to start the second three minutes of the extra frame, but Griffin caused a turnover and scooped the ground ball to give the hosts a chance to tie the game with less than two minutes remaining. Simpson had a chance on the doorstep to knot the game at 7 apiece, but Tufts first-year netminder Hannah Wiltshire (Wilton, Conn.) made a big save. After Wiltshire's stop, the loose ball ended up on the stick of Griffin, who drew a foul. On the play, Bowser was carded and Griffin took advantage with a free-position tally with 34 seconds left in overtime. Griffin's marker was her fourth of the game as she tied the single season program record for points with 86 thanks to a first-half assist.

Hayes collected the ensuing draw control in a crowd at midfield and after some fancy foot and stick work she found Simpson cutting to the goal. Simpson's shot beat Wiltshire five-hole with just five seconds left as the Bantams advanced to their fifth straight NESCAC tilt game.

Offensively, Griffin paced the Trinity attack with four goals and an assist, while Hayes added two markers and two helpers. The Jumbos were led on the offensive end by Bowser with four goals as Jenn Duffy (Miller Place, N.Y.) had two tallies and Caroline Ross (Seawickley, Pa.) added a game-high three assists.

Tufts was dominant on draw controls for a majority of the game, as the visitors won 14 of 18 in the contest. Ross won a game-high seven and Boswer had five for the Jumbos. Sophomore midfielder Clare yne (Concord, Mass.) had a team-best two draw controls for the Bantams.

Tufts held a 29-18 advantage in shots and went 5-for-5 on clears, while Trinity successfully cleared four of six attempts. Each team committed 14 turnovers in the game.

Between the pipes, Trinity junior Emily Mooney (New York, N.Y.) played the final 36 minutes and made eight saves to earn her eighth win of the spring. First-year Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) got the start for the Bantams and she turned aside four shots in the opening half. Wiltshire stopped 10 shots in a losing effort for Tufts.

On the defensive end, Griffin had a game-best three caused turnovers and Hayes added two of her won for the Bantams. The Jumbos saw Bowser and junior defender Jaymi Cohen (Andover, Mass.) each cause a pair of turnovers apiece.

In the first half, the Bantams came out charging, scoring two goals in the first five minutes to hold an early edge. After Tufts cut the deficit in half thanks to a Duffy goal, Trinity netted back-to-back tallies to hold a 4-1 advantage. The Jumbos ended the opening 30 minutes with two late goals to trail by one at 4-3 heading into halftime.