Vendel Scores Winner as Bryant Nips Wagner in Sudden Victory

Staten Island, NY Sophomore attackers Stephanie Peterson (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) and Kimmy Tumolo (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview) scored two goals each, while sophomore goalie Katie Ferraro (Ownings Mill, MD/) turned away 13 shots, but Lisa Vendel's third goal of the game, which came in sudden victory, gave Bryant a 7-6 comeback win in the Northeast Conference (NEC) opener for both teams.

The Seahawks stood shoulder-to-shoulder throughout this contest with a Bulldog team that was picked No. 1 in the NEC Preseason Poll, surging to an early 4-1 lead before Bryant rallied by scoring five of the next seven goals to send the game into overtime.

With the victory, Bryant improves to 7-3 on the season (1-0 NEC) while the Wagner falls to 4-6 overall (0-1 NEC).

The Green & White held the statistical edge in several categories as Wagner outshot the Bulldogs 30-26, and led in groundballs by a 24-17 margin, while Bryant won 10-of-17 draw controls on this cold, rainy and wind-swept afternoon at Hameline Field.

After Haley Bloom gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead at the 27:04 mark of the first half, the Seahawks scored four unanswered goals over the next 17:01. Peterson started the run with unassisted scores at 25:05 and 17:29, the latter giving Wagner its first lead at 2-1. With 14:13 left in the opening half, freshman Olivia Streilein (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) extended the lead to 3-1 off an assist by senior Michela Galante (Maplewood, NJ/Maplewood).

With 8:01 to go in the half, Peterson hit a cutting Tumolo in stride, and the nimble 5-0 South Jersey product did the rest, burying a shot from five yards out to give the Seahawks a 4-1 lead. That's the way the score remained until Bryant rattled home a pair of late first-half goals within a span of 13 seconds to make it a 4-3 game at intermission. Vendel notched her first score of the game with an unassisted tally at 2:10, cutting the deficit in half. After Bryant won the ensuing draw control, Bloom deposited s free-position shot at the 1:58 mark to make it a one-goal game at 4-3.

The Bulldogs struck quickly in the second half on a Lauren Descalzo free-position shot at 29:04, tying the game at 4-4. Just 35 seconds later, Wagner regained the lead at 5-4 when Tumolo notched her second goal of the game after receiving a pretty feed from sophomore Gretchen Fay (Spring Lake Heights, NJ/Manasquan) with 28:29 to go.

The respective defenses took over for the next several possessions as the teams went scoreless for the a stretch of 16:34, before Bloom sank her second goal of the game with 11:54 to play to tie the game at 5-5. Vendel's second goal, this one on a free-position shot with 6:27 left, put Bryant back on top 6-5.

Undaunted, the young and aggressive Seahawks clawed back as sophomore Shea Gegan (Manasquan, NJ/Manasquan) slammed home the equalizer on a great individual effort at the 4:51 mark to forge the game's fourth tie at 6-6.

In Division I women's lacrosse, the teams play consecutive 3:00 overtime sessions and if the game is still tied, sudden death ensues with the third overtime.

Galante won the opening draw of the first overtime and Wagner patiently worked the ball around the perimeter, milking the clock all the way down to the waning seconds, when a Peterson shot was wide with three ticks left in the first OT.

With 2:44 left in the second overtime, junior Shelby Steadman (Burlington, NJ/Holy Cross) was whistled for the game's first penalty, receiving a 2:00 yellow card resulting in an extra-man opportunity for the Bulldogs. Eighteen seconds later, Gegan stripped Bloom and collected the groundball, giving possession back to Wagner.

With the teams back at full strength, the Seahawks had a chance to take the lead but Galante's 15-yard blast from straight on was wide left at the 34-second mark, as the game went to a third overtime.

Now in the third OT and sudden-death in effect, Bryant won the opening draw control before Gegan came up with another caused turnover and groundball, giving the ball back to the Seahawks with 2:40 left. With 1:31 remaining in the third OT, Bulldog goalie Brianna Watt came up with a big save on Peterson's potential game-winner.

A Wagner foul at 1:08 gave Vendel a free-position shot which the senior buried, lifting Bryant to the 7-6 victory.

Gegan turned in a sensational all-around game, coming up with a career-high eight caused turnovers, while equaling her career high with six groundballs.

The Seahawks are next in action on Sunday, April 6 when they host Central Connecticut in a 2:30 pm start on Senior Day.

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