Buzzer-Beater in Overtime Lifts the Mount Past CCSU

EMMITSBURG, Md. Meaghan Conlon (Eldersburg, Md./Liberty), Esther Rufolo (Woodstock, Md./Chapelgate Christian Academy) and Jen Semler (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) made one last connection in their final regular season game at Waldron Family Stadium to propel Mount St. Mary's past Central Connecticut State 8-7 at the buzzer in overtime of a Northeast Conference (NEC) match on Saturday.

Conlon caused a Blue Devils (5-6, 3-2 NEC) turnover with 16 seconds left and scooped up the loose ball. After a foul, Conlon found Rufolo streaking down the center of the field, who then threw the ball high in the air so that Semler was the only one that could come down with the pass. Ahead of the defense and only with the goalkeeper in front of her, the senior buried the shot into the netting as time expired to hand the Mount (5-9, 4-1 NEC) the victory.

Semler paced the Mountaineers with her first hat trick of the season. Rufolo added a goal and an assist while Conlon recorded three ground balls, two draw controls and a caused turnover on Senior Day.

Erin Seipp (Towson, Md./Notre Dame Preparatory) recorded two goals in the winning effort.

Meaghan McCurry fueled Central Connecticut State with three markers and an assist while Betsy Vendel added two goals and two assists in the loss.

The game marked the final regular season home game for five Mount seniors, but also brought back to Emmitsburg 2006 Mount graduate Kelly Nangle, who is in her first season as the head coach of the Blue Devils. With several of Nangle's teammates from the 2004 and 2005 Mountaineer NEC Championship title teams in attendance, Mount St. Mary's won its first overtime game at home since an 8-7 five overtime victory against Monmouth in the 2005 NEC Championship Game.

While today's game did not have the same magnitude of that 2005 title game, the 2012 overtime game had an eerie similarity to that contest. Just like the game in 2005, Mount St. Mary's had the ball and was attempting to run out the clock in regulation to preserve the victory, but a Mount turnover gave the Blue Devils the chance to tie the game and send the game to overtime.

The Mount had the ball on its offensive side of the field, but trying to keep the ball away from Central Connecticut State moved the ball to the defensive side of the field and committed a turnover to give the Blue Devils the ball with 14 seconds left in the second half. Cara Momnie picked up the loose ball in the waning seconds of regulation and then Vendel found the twine with 4.5 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

In the first overtime, Conlon grabbed the draw control and the Mount tried to run down the clock in three-minute session to set up one shot, but the Blue Devils' Cierra Ward caused a turnover with 22 seconds left in the portion of OT. Central Connecticut State turned the ball over 10 seconds later before the first part of the overtime session ended.

After the teams switched halves, Momnie got the draw control for the Blue Devils and just like the Mount in the first three minutes tried to run down the clock to set up one shot for the victory, but a turnover with 16 seconds left set up the senior connection of Conlon-Rufolo-Semler for the decisive goal and hand Mount St. Mary's the 8-7 victory.

The Blue Devils opened the game with a 2-0 advantage and went into halftime with a 5-4 lead. McCurry started the scoring with consecutive goals off feeds from Vendel at 6:04 and 8:02 for a two-goal edge.

Semler answered for the Mount with an 8-meter goal at 11:35, but Vendel found the twine unassisted at 14:37 to restore a two-goal lead.

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