Mercy Rallies to for One-Goal Win over Wilmington

Mercy College freshman Brianna Horn (Wantagh, N.Y./Kellenberg) rolled the crease with just under a minute to go in regulation, drawing Wilmington goalie Amber Smith out of position, and scored on a bounce shot with 55 seconds to go, as Mercy claimed a 10-9 come from behind victory on Tuesday afternoon.

Mercy (7-5; 2-3 East Coast Conference) had led by as many as three goals in the second half, but a 6-1 run for Wilmington gave the Wildcats a 9-7 lead with just under six minutes to play.

Both teams played solid defense throughout the first half, with Mercy taking a 4-1 lead at intermission. In the second half, both teams made adjustments, and the goals started flowing.

Horn scored an unassisted goal just 29 seconds into the second half to extend the lead to 5-1. Jessica Graybeal and Danielle Niccoli tallied for Wilmington, cutting the lead to 5-3. Horn then scored on a free position shot, to stem the WU run.

Undeterred, Wilmington (10-7; 7-5 CACC) pressed on. The Wildcats took 17 shots in the second half, and scored six of the next seven goals, including a four-goal run in a span of just four and a half minutes. Samantha Jewel popped back-to-back tallies to knot the score at seven apiece, only to have Graybeal and Niccoli extended the Wildcat lead to 9-7.

Stephanie DiLegge (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) cut the lead to 9-8 with 5:25 to play. Kelsey Sullivan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport South Manor) then added to the drama, tying the game with just 4:13 to play.

Each team traded opportunities as the clock wound down in regulation. Freshman goalie Lauren Mateja (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) stood tall and made several saves, including two one-on-one opportunities on the crease.

Wilmington took a yellow card with 4:13 to play, giving Mercy a man-up situation for three minutes. The visitors were able to kill the penalty, and the teams were even with 1:13 to play. But a careless offside foul against the Wildcats proved costly.

Freshman Julie Darnulc (Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin) had the ball at the 12-meter fan, and made a pass to Horn at the goal line extended. Horn then rolled the crease, from left to right, drawing Smith out of position. Horn's fifth and final goal gave Mercy the 10-9 win.

Wilmington did have one last chance in the waning seconds of the game, but could not gain possession ion the offensive zone, and time expired.

For the game, Horn led all scorers with five goals. She added three ground balls, four draw controls, and caused two turnovers. Jamie McPartland (North Massapequa, N.Y./Farmingdale) added two goals, with Hurley, Sullivan, and DiLegge scoring the others. Sullivan played another strong game, with one goal, one assist, five ground balls, two ground balls, and five caused turnovers.

For Wilmington, Niccoli had three goals and two assists, while Graybeal added three goals. Samantha Jewell added two goals.

In goal, Mateja made 12 saves, while Wilmington's Smith made 11.

Mercy is now 2-2 in one-goal games on the season. The Mavericks beat Ramapo 15-14, and lost 14-13 at Chestnut Hill and 15-14 to Chestnut Hill.

Mercy plays at St. Thomas Aquinas at the Torne Valley Complex on Thursday at 4:15 p.m., before wrapping up the season on Wednesday, May 5, by hosting Molloy at 4:00 p.m. at Purchase College.

2010-04-27



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