Manhattanville Nips Misericordia in 41-Goal Shootout

PURCHASE, N.Y. Junior Casandra Honovich (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Walter Panas) registered a career-high 12 points on nine goals and three assists, and Manhattanville needed every one of those points plus a game-winning goal from sophomore Mallory Bakst (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) with less than 30 seconds remaining as the Valiants remained unbeaten in Freedom Conference play with a nail-biting 21-20 win over Misericordia on Saturday afternoon at Field.

Honovich almost single-handedly carried the Valiants to a win with a career day. Her nine goals were one off both her career-high and the program single-game record of 10, while the 12 total points are tied for the second-most by a Valiant in program history, behind only the 13 of Katie Frattarola '01 on April 24, 2009 against Western New England.

For the team, the 21 goals marked the 11th time in program history the squad scored more than 20 goals in a game. The 41 combined goals are easily the most ever in a Valiant women's lacrosse game, surpassing the previous record of 36 (23-13) that was set last season against this same Cougar team.

In addition to Honovich, her fellow co-captains, seniors Maggie Howley (Philadelphia, Pa./Cardinal Dougherty) and Melissa Goncalves (Holtsville, N.Y./Sachem East), also had big games with four goals and two assists apiece. Bakst had two goals while junior Brooke Marcimo (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) and sophomore Meghann Haggerty (Centerport, N.Y./Harborfields) had one goal each for Manhattanville (3-9, 2-0 Freedom) in a game in which every single score was needed.

Catie Viegas led Misericordia (0-12, 0-3 Freedom) with six goals and an assist, followed by Melina Juliano (five goals, one assist) and Brooke North (four goals, one assist).

Manhattanville started the game strongly, holding a 10-5 lead with 4:52 left in the first half, but the Valiants gave up six goals in just over four minutes to bring the Cougars back into the game and allow the visitors to hold an 11-10 lead at the intermission.

The second half was a very tense 30 minutes of action as a result, as neither team gained an advantage of more than two goals. Misericordia had a two-goal edge on two occasions, first when the Cougars scored three in a row to erase a Valiant advantage and take a 19-17 lead with 10:40 left. Honovich quickly got one of those goals back, controlling the draw and quickly earning a free-position attempt that she converted just 11 seconds later.

Viegas scored her sixth of the day for the visitors to regain their two-goal lead with 5:49 remaining, but Honovich took over for Manhattanville after that, scoring twice in 1:03 to knot the score at 20 with less than three minutes to go. She made it a 20-19 game after forcing a turnover in the midfield and turning it into a score 41 seconds later, and then knotted the score at 20 with her ninth of the day with 2:45 left.

The final three minutes had chances for both teams. Manhattanville won the subsequent draw but could not convert, giving the ball back to Misericordia with under a minute to go. But Howley came up with a huge late-game defensive play for the second straight contest, blocking a North pass and picking up the ground ball to regain possession. After two fouls and a Cougar yellow card kept the ball in Howley's possession, she went behind the MU net and fed out front for a wide-open Bakst, who swatted the ball home for the game-winning score.

The Cougars had one final possession after North controlled the draw, but the Valiant defense did not allow a shot and the home team managed to escape with another conference win.

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