Bridgewater St. Nips Westfield St. in OT for NEWLA Title

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. Freshman attack Riley Cachelin (Westwood, Mass.) scored off a free position attempt with 14 seconds remaining in overtime to lift top-seeded Bridgewater State to a dramatic 6-5 win over number two Westfield State in the NEWLA championship game.

The Bears (12-7) captured the program's fifth straight NEWLA Tournament title and advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third consecutive year and fourth time overall. Tournament pairings are expected to be announced on Sunday evening. Westfield ends the season with a record of 9-8.

Bridgewater took a 2-0 lead into the intermission on first half tallies from junior defender Shelby Farland (Fiskdale, Mass.) and junior midfielder Michelle Navoni (Mansfield, Mass.). The Bears, however, would go a little more than 28 minutes before find the back of the next again.

Westfield would tie it up at the 21:12 mark of the second half on goals just 43 seconds apart from senior midfielder Carly Keeley (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and sophomore attack Sarah Giardino (Foxboro, Mass.). The Owls would take their first lead of the game with 16:18 remaining on a goal from freshman attack Amanda Bouchard's (Lexington, Mass.).

Trailing 3-2, the Bears tied it at the 13 minute mark as senior midfielder Stephanie Lannon (Swampscott, Mass.) converted off a terrific feed from freshman attack Riley Cachelin (Westwood, Mass.).

Keeley quickly regained the lead for Westfield just over two minutes later with her second marker of the day and team-leading 56th of the season.

Cachelin notched her first goal of the day and 30th of the season with 6:21 left to play to tie the score at 4-4. Bridgewater had possession as the clock ticked down under three minutes, but a big charge call gave the Owls the ball. Westfield took a timeout and Bouchard had a chance to win it with three seconds left but her shot was turned away by BSU sophomore netminder Victoria Moore (Duxbury, Mass.) as the game headed to overtime.

Navoni scored for Bridgewater in the first three-minute overtime session, but that was answered by Westfield's Bouchard with 2:22 remaining in the second session. The Bears won the draw after the Bouchard goal and eventually called timeout with 37 seconds left on the clock. Cachelin was fouled on an attempted drive to the net and, on the ensuing free position attempt, potted the game-winner on a low shot that broke through off the Westfield keeper.

Moore was outstanding between the pipes for Bridgewater as she turned aside nine shots. Cachelin finished with two goals and an assist, while sophomore midfielder Taylor Clancy (Braintree, Mass.) led all players with ten ground balls while also recording three caused turnover and a pair of controlled draws.

Westfield held a 20-16 advantage in shots, while the Bears had a slight edge in both ground balls (25-23) and draws (8-7).

Freshman goaltender Hannah Joyce (Acton, Mass.) made four saves for the Owls. Bouchard finished with two goals and four draws, while Keeley notched five draws and two caused turnovers to go along with her two goals.

Notes: The championship game capped off the final season of the NEWLA as seven of the teams will be competing next season in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference ... The announcement of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament field will be webcast on on Sunday evening (TBA) with first round play getting underway on Wednesday, May 9th.


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