Bucknell Overcomes 9-0 Deficit to Nip Liberty in OT

LEWISBURG, Pa. Freshman Arriana Sajjad (Reisterstown, Md./McDonogh) recorded six goals and two assists, and her free-position shot with 1:28 left in overtime held up as the game-winner as Bucknell finished off an incredible comeback in a 16-15 victory over Liberty on Wednesday at sunny Graham Field.

The Bison spotted the Flames a 9-0 lead before tying the game for the first time on a goal by Madison Hurwitz (Holland, Pa./Council Rock) with 31 seconds left in regulation, then they fell behind 15-13 in extra time before getting up off the deck one more time.

Ryan Wenk (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) scored two goals 24 seconds apart to tie the game at 15-15 in the first period of overtime, and she had three goals on the day. Katelyn Miller (Reisterstown, Md./McDonogh) also had three goals, Hurwitz collected two goals and two assists, and Emily Kookogey (Lutherville, Md./Towson) added two goals and an assist for the Bison, who improved to 3-7 on the season.

Liberty (2-6) got six goals apiece from Morgan Becker and Kristin Crowley and 16 saves from goalie Kristen Masullo. But after the Flames stunned them with the 9-0 start, Bucknell made a quick 3-0 run in the final 3:19 of the first half and was a completely different team the rest of the way.

Liberty dominated the time of possession for most of the first half, thanks to an early run of draw controls and eight first-half saves by Masullo. By the 10-minute mark it was already 5-0, and Becker's fifth goal of the half made it 9-0 with 6:05 to play.

Bucknell broke up the shutout on Miller's unassisted goal 26:41 into the game, but Wenk and Kookogey tacked on two more before the half to make the deficit more manageable.

The Bison pulled within 11-8 with 9:14 left in regulation when Sajjad's pass from the top of the arc did not connect with a cutting teammate, but somehow managed to bounce past Masullo and under the crossbar for a goal. Bucknell's momentum was halted momentarily when Nina Dunay scored a goal and then set up Jen Moyer for another, giving the Flames a 13-8 lead with 7:06 to play.

It was all Bison for the remainder of regulation time. Liberty won the ensuing draw but Miller stole the ball back. After a successful clear, Kookogey made a great skip pass over the defense to Hurwitz for a goal with 6:32 to play. Sophie Kleinert (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) reached high to snare the following draw, and then Miller drove from the top of the zone for a Bucknell's 10th goal with 5:44 to play.

The Flames won the next possession but had trouble with Bucknell's double-teaming defense, and Miller came up with a ground ball after a bad pass. At the other end Sajjad was fouled while attempting a shot one of 42 Liberty fouls in the game and she finished the 8-meter shot to make it 13-11 with 4:28 to play.

Again Bucknell had to come out and press after losing possession of the ball, and this time it was backup goalie Kristina Patrk (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich), some 40 yards from her crease, forcing a bad pass. Wenk nabbed the ground ball, which led to a Sajjad goal with 1:15 to play.

Sajjad secured the ensuing draw but again the Bison turned the ball over in the offensive zone, but once again the defense came up with a huge takeaway. This time it was defender Alex Wallace (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville) intercepting a pass in the middle of the field as Liberty tried to clear with 41 seconds left.

Once again Bucknell went to Sajjad inside the 8-meter arc, and she drew another foul with 33 seconds left. On the restart, Sajjad passed up a shot, instead sending a slick pass to Hurwitz on the opposite side of the crease for a point-blank goal, and the Bison bench erupted as the scoreboard showed a tie game for the first time all night.

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