NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University women's lacrosse team fell in an overtime thriller to the Sharks of Simmons University, as Mallory Cottam picked up the overtime winner 1:57 into the extra period to clinch the 9-8 victory in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Cadets came out on fire in the first half, picking up six straight goals to open the game in the first nine minutes. Simmons responded in turn with eight unanswered goals of their own over the remainder of the first half and into the second half, before Norwich finally stopped the run with 10:57 left in the game with a Michaila Furchak (Nyack, N.Y.) goal to make it 8-7.
The two teams settled into a defensive standoff for the next seven minutes before Missy Preul (Scottsdale, Ariz.) came through with the clutch goal the Cadets needed to knot things up at 8-8. Brynn Mendes (Centerville, Mass.) caused a Simmons turnover with just 57 seconds remaining to give Norwich a bid at the game-winner in regulation, but a serious of whistles resulted in the Cadets somehow turning the ball over in their offensive zone, and time expired with the two teams still deadlocked.
Norwich sent Mendes to the circle to win an opening draw, and she managed to do that as Emily Schromm (North Attleboro, Mass.) gained possession for Norwich to start overtime. The Cadet offense managed to set up Mary-Kait Mace (Canton, N.Y.) with a good bid for the decisive goal, but the Simmons defense surrounded her and made things just hard enough for Mace, as Simmons goaltender Cat Cross made the clutch save to extend the game. A minute and eight seconds later, Mallory Cottam snuck one by the Cadets defense and netted the game-winner unassisted, and Simmons left the field with the conference victory.
Lawson Hayes (Moorestown, N.J.) played well in goal for Norwich, making ten saves in 61:57 in goal on her way to a tough-luck loss. Kate Winstanley (Lansdale, Pa.) and Michaila Furchak each scored a pair of goals with an assist to lead the Cadets with three points, and Brynn Mendes filled the stat sheet yet again with a goal, an assist, and a team-high four ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Norwich wraps up their regular season with a 7-9 record and a 4-7 mark within the conference. They'll now await the results from this evening's other games to see where they will travel on April 27th for the first round of the conference tournament, look for the opponent and game time on NorwichAthletics.com.