Saints Rally Falls Short to Wagner at Oyster Bay Classic

Staten Island, NY Senior attacker Annie O'Connor (Syracuse, NY/ Westhill) matched her career high with five goals to offset a five-goal outing from Siena's Sarah Croutier and carry Wagner past the Saints, 12-9, in closely-contested game at chilly Hameline Field.

The victory improves the Seahawks' record to 3-1, marking the program's best four-game start to a season since 2001 when the Green & White went 4-0 en route to a 6-0 start. With the loss, Saints fall to 1-3 on the season.

Freshman midfielder Casey McCarthy (Cypress, TX Cy-Fair) hat a trick for the Seahawks while sophomore midfielder Jessica Mills (Vernon Township, NJ/ Vernon) and her former high school teammate, freshman midfielder Stephanie Peterson (Vernon Township, NJ/ Vernon) supplied two goals apiece. Mills was the ultimate playmaker on this day, recording a career-high four assists as her six points on the afternoon tied O'Connor for game-high honors. Also coming up with assists for Wagner were junior Katy Bender (Cherry Hill, NJ/ Cherry Hill West) and freshman midfielder Tyler Pastore (Baldwinsville, NY/ C.W. Baker).

After seven minutes of play, Siena was on top 3-2 following a free position shot from Katie McGuire. This would prove to be Siena's last lead of the game as the Seahawks uncorked five goals over a nine-minute span to seize control of the game at 7-3. Mills tied the game at 3-3 off a Pastore assist with 22:47 to go in the first half to tie the game at 3-3. McCarthy then unleashed a pair of goals, the first off of a Mills assist and the second on a free position shot that made it 5-3 at the 19:21 mark.

O'Connor, whose first goal of the game at 25:21 made it a 2-2 tie, then tallied a pair of unanswered goals, both coming off of feeds from Mills, which stretched the lead to 7-3 at the 13:04 mark. Croutier, who had already notched two goals in the game's opening four minutes, then got two quick ones back for the Saints, connecting on unassisted tallies at 9:42 and 8:03 to make it a 7-5 game.

An unassisted goal by O'Connor, her fourth of the half, again made it a three-goal game at 8-5 with 7:12 left in the half. That's the way things stood until Lauren Smith found the back of the net at 1:44 to shave the Wagner lead to 8-6 at halftime.

McCarthy gave the Seahawks a bit of breathing room by converting a free position shot at 25:20 to put the Seahawks in front 9-6. Siena, however, made a game of it by answering with goals by Alyssa Treanor and Croutier, the latter coming at 20:28, making it a one-goal game at 9-8. With the momentum on Siena's side and the Saints on the verge of tying the game for the first time since the early going, Wagner came up with a huge goal as O'Connor found a cutting Peterson who buried the shot to give Wagner a 10-8 lead.

The feisty Saints kept coming, howeber, Shannon Pfohl sank a goal at 17:52 again make it a one-goal game,, this time at 10-9.

With Siena again on the cusp of tying the game, Wagner again found an answer, as O'Connor scored off a pretty feed by Mills at 14:55 to make it an 11-9 game. At this point, freshman Katie Ferraro (Owings Mill, MD/ McDonogh) was inserted into the game in place of starter Shannon Sweeney and came up with five saves while not allowing a goal. On the other end of the field, Wagner salted the game away on a fast-break goal with Bender throwing ahead to McGrath who did the rest, registering the game's final goal with 6:20 left as Wagner went on to the 12-9 victory.

Siena outshot Wagner 26-24 and led by a 16-12 count in ground balls while the Seahawks held a slim 12-11 edge in draw controls. Wagner was 3 of 4 on free-position shots while limiting Siena to 1 of 5 in this important category.

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