Cardinals Drop OT Heartbreaker to the Storm

WHEELING, W.Va. Wheeling Jesuit scrapped tooth and nail with Lake Erie on Friday but came away with a 14-15 overtime loss in a crucial GLIAC conference match-up.

The Cardinals are now 5-2 in GLIAC play (9-6 overall) and must beat the conferences No. 1 Grand Valley State at home on Sunday if they are to earn a first round bye in the conference playoffs. If the Cardinals fall in that game, they will host a first round game in Wheeling on Tuesday.

Leading the Cards in scoring was Senior Sara Fitzsimon who put in five goals on the night from seven shots while scooping up five ground balls and causing one turnover. Fitzsimon also controlled five draws, helping give WJU a good attacking platform.

Olivia Krock, Paige Plesich, and Elizabeth Hales each added two goals apiece for WJU as well, with Hales giving three assists. Krock was strong defensively too, causing three turnovers.

Goalkeeper Maire Austin was strong in the net as well, picking up 12 saves on 33 shots from Lake Erie.

WJU jumped out to a 5-2 lead before giving up five consecutive goals to the Storm. Plesich and Fitzsimon added a goal each before the half to go into the break tied at seven.

It was clear after a drawn first half the remainder of the game was going to be a physical battle. Plesich and Fitzsimon each scored again to open the second period, before LEC put in one of their own to make it 9-7 before the Storm added another after only three minutes of play.

LEC then scored two quick goals, and from that point on, each team traded jabs, keeping the scores knotted. Every time it looked as though the Cardinals were going to pull away, the Storm hit right back, and with 2:05 to play, scored the goal that would send it to overtime.

In overtime, the Cardinals fell down 13-14 before Krock knotted it up again with 13 seconds to go before the teams switched sides. In the final minute of play, the Cardinals gave up a turnover on in good attacking position, and it would prove costly as LEC's Ashriel West scored the go ahead goal.

WJU now turns their focus to the GLIAC's No 1 seed Grand Valley state who come calling to the Friendly City on Sunday to face a Cardinals squad looking for redemption. Sunday's game is Senior Day, where WJU will honor their three seniors. Opening draw is scheduled for 12:00 p.m..


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