Niagara Scores Three in Final Minute to Edge Bonnies

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. Niagara earned its second straight win after dropping the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, 9-7 at Niagara Field on Tuesday evening.

With less than one minute remaining in the contest and the game tied at seven, the Purple Eagles tallied three quick scores to pull ahead by two goals for their second consecutive victory for the first time since the 2009 season.

"We talk a lot about grit and hustle, and today we saw that in spades," head coach Wendy Stone said. "It was not a pretty game by any means, but we found a way to pull it out in the end. I am very proud of the effort and energy that was displayed by the entire team tonight, and we will look to improve upon it on Saturday."

Maria Battista continued her strong play for the Purple Eagles with a career-high five goal game, while Carrie-Jo Farrugia secured four points with a pair of goals and assists. Danielle Maio (2-0-0) and Paige Matecki (0-2-2) also pocketed a multiple-point night en route to handing the team's Little 3 rival its first loss of the season.

St. Bonaventure (1-2-0) got things started with a goal from Erin Thomas four minutes into the opening period, but Farrugia found the back of the net five minutes later off an assist from Paige Matecki. The teams continued to trade goals until the 5:27 mark of the half as Jenna Schlagenhauf put the Bonnies ahead 4-2 which would end up being the biggest lead of the game for NU's Little 3 rival.

Battista would sneak a shot past St. Bonaventure keeper Sara Schlagenhauf with 2:22 remaining to bring the Purple Eagles (2-5-0) back within one headed into the first intermission. The shot count had SBU up 13-11 after 30 minutes of play.

Maio got Niagara on the scoreboard to start the second half off a free-position shot, knotting the game at 4-4. Jenna Schlagenhauf would beat NU goalie Paige Sasser to pull the Bonnies ahead once more less than a minute later, but NU tallied the next pair of goals off Battista and Farrugia to earn its first lead of the game with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.

The Purps found themselves down a goal again with 1:01 remaining on the clock as Marybeth Madia and Jenna Schlagenhauf each responded with tally to give the Bonnies a slim 7-6 advantage. The final minute of play however saw Niagara surge ahead, getting a pair of goals from Battista and a goal from Maio to wrap up the evening in the win column.

Battista started the comeback with 43 seconds on the clock as she whipped a top shelf laser over the shoulder of Sara Schlagenhauf, making it 7-7. Maio added her eighth of the year 25 seconds later, and Battista snagged her fifth goal of the game and ninth of the season before the final horn.

Niagara outshot St. Bonaventure 30-25 on the game. Sasser finished the game stopping 13 Bonnie shots for her second career win.

The Purple Eagles return to action on Saturday, March 16 when Niagara welcomes LIU Brooklyn to Niagara Field at 1:00 p.m.

* * * *

LEWISTON, N.Y. - Jenna Schlagenhauf scored three goals to increase her team-leading total to 14, the final talley giving the Bonnies a 7-6 advantage with just 1:00 to play. But Niagara scored three times over the final minute to hand the Brown and White its first set back of the season.

The Bonnies took the first lead of the game, 1-0 when Erin Thomas weaved her way inside and scored her third goal of the season. Just five minutes later however the Purple Eagles stuck back, tying the score on a goal by Carrie-Jo Farrugia, her sixth.

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