Burke Leads Salve Regina Past Nichols in Overtime

DUDLEY, Mass. (April 28) – Salve Regina University freshman Kelly Burke (Georgetown, Mass.) scored with 26.6 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Seahawks to a 12-11 victory over Nichols College in both teams' The Commonwealth Coast Conference regular-season finale Wednesday evening at Vendetti Field.

Burke's sixth goal of the evening gave Salve Regina an overall mark of 7-10 and with a 4-7 conference record, the Seahawks locked up the eighth and final seed in the upcoming TCCC Tournament. Salve Regina will travel to top-seeded Endicott Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. quarterfinal round game. Nichols closes out the season with a 4-11 overall record and a 2-9 TCCC ledger.

Sarah Baker (Summit, N.J.) added three goals for the Seahawks, while Nicole Viola (Scarborough, Maine) chipped in with a goal and an assist.

For the Bison, sophomore Krista-Jean Forand (Plymouth, Mass.) closed out the season with six goals and a pair of assists to set program records for goals (53) and assists (12) and points (65) in a season. She now stands second on the career points (111) and goals (89) charts and is the program's all-time leader in assists with 22. Emily Yourie (Ellington, Conn.) added three goals and Brittany Tremont (Guilford, Conn.) recorded a goal and an assist.

Burke gave the Seahawks the lead just 45 seconds into the game, but Yourie responded less than 40 seconds later to knot the game by batting in a behind-the-net pass from Tremont.

Another score from Yourie and a pair from Forand less than three minutes apart put the Bison up by three, but the visitors responded with four-straight tallies –including three by Burke – to hold a 5-4 lead at halftime.

Rebecca Simmons (Averill Park, N.Y.) edged the Seahawks ahead by two with a free-position goal, just one of two conversions on eight attempts by Salve Regina on the night, at the 3:22 mark of the second half.

Nichols responded with goals by Forand and Tremont just over a minute apart to knot the game at 6-6.

Baker then sparked a scoring spree for the visitors, as the Seahawks rattled off five goals over the next seven minutes, including two more from Baker, one from Burke and another from Erika Curtin (Huntington, N.Y.) right off the draw, to build a five-goal lead.

Nichols swung the momentum in its favor to net the next five and climb back in the game in a six-minute span on three goals from Forand, one from Yourie, and a spin shot from Chelsea Shaughnessy (Halifax, Mass.).

Neither team could convert in the final two minutes of regulation, forcing overtime. In the first three-minute session, Nichols won the draw and played it safe around Salve Regina netminder Natalie Balletta (Leominster, Mass.) before attempting a shot as time was winding down. The Seahawks scooped up the ball and made a final charge at Nichols goalkeeper Mary Michaud (Agawam, Mass.), but she was up to the task, and the teams switched ends for the final three minutes of play.

Salve Regina won the opening draw and ran the same playbook, this time with Burke dodging a defender in heavy traffic in front of the net before sending the shot in.

Salve Regina won the final draw control and maintained possession in Nichols' end to close out the game.

Michaud finished with an outstanding 22 saves in the game, while Balletta earned the win with one.

Salve Regina won the groundball battle at 21-11, and edged out the Bison in draw controls at 15-12.


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