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Bucknell Steals OT Thriller from Liberty Lacrosse

March 21, 2012
|  Lewisburg, Pa.
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Six goals from both Morgan Becker (pictured) and Kristin Crowley weren't enough, as Bucknell earned the 16-15 win in OT.

After Liberty built a 9-0 lead through the opening 24 minutes of play, Bucknell slowly chipped away at the deficit to force overtime and take the 16-15 victory, Wednesday, at the Bison's Graham Field at Holmes Stadium.

The host Bison (3-7) outshot Liberty 22-7 in the second half and took advantage of 11 second-half turnovers from the Lady Flames (2-6), as they netted the final five goals in regulation to knot the contest, 13-13, and force another frame. 

Liberty started the overtime strong by scoring a pair of goals, but Bucknell closed the extra time with three straight scores, notching its first lead of the game with 1:29 left on the clock.  The Bison then snagged the final draw control and held on for the win.

Kristin Crowley and Morgan Becker each netted six goals for the visitors, while Nina Dunay, Amber Nichols and Jen Moyer scored one goal apiece.  Dunay, Becker, Nichols and Kacie Fogle all provided assists for Liberty.

Bucknell was led by Arriana Sajjad, who scored all six of her goals between the second half and overtime.  Katelyn Miller and Ryan Wenk each netted three, while Madison Hurwitz and Emily Kookogey accounted for two scores apiece.

Liberty served as the aggressor during the opening half, playing strongly on both sides of the field.  Over the opening 23:55 the Lady Flames scorched the Bison for nine goals, while goalkeeper Kristen Masullo made six saves to keep Bucknell scoreless during the first 26:41.

Becker scored five of her goals during the opening stretch, while Crowley and Nichols added three and one, respectively.

Bucknell finally got on the board with 3:19 remaining in the first half, on a Miller score.  The Bison managed two more before the end of the half, cutting Liberty's lead to six, 9-3, through the first 30 minutes of play.

Sajjad and Crowley exchanged a pair of goals to open the second half, as Liberty still held an 11-5 lead with 19:59 remaining in the contest.

Over the next 10 minutes of game action, the Bison reeled off three goals, including their first free-position conversion of the evening, to cut the deficit to three, 11-8.

Dunay halted the Bison charge with an unassisted marker, making her way around the back of the net for the score at the 8:16 mark.  Moyer tacked on her first goal of the season with 7:06 to play, extending Liberty's lead back to five, 13-8.

However, Bucknell scored the final five goals of the regulation, capped by a Hurwitz tally with just 30 seconds remaining in the game, forcing the 6:00 of extra time.

The Lady Flames jumped up 15-13 with the first two goals of overtime.  Crowley fired a shot rushing through the middle of the fan, while Becker's goal came on an empty net free-position shot, after a foul on the Bucknell goaltender, Kristina Patrk.

The Bison responded quickly to this deficit, filing a pair of scores before the end of the first three-minute overtime segment.

Bucknell then notched its first lead of the evening, 16-15, behind Sajjad's final goal of the game with just 1:29 left on the clock.  After capturing the draw, Bucknell managed to maintain possession and complete the come-from-behind victory.

The Bison used a pair of goalkeepers throughout the game.  Patrk (1-0) was credited with the victory despite making no saves and allowing two goals in 12:30 of action.  Caroline O'Neill made five saves and allowed 13 goals in 53:30 of play.  Masullo (2-6) made 16 saves on the evening for Liberty and helped hold the Bison to 4-for-14 on free-position shots.

Liberty was outshot 45-25 in the contest, while Bucknell also held the 21-12 advantage in draw controls, including taking five of six in overtime.  Sajjad pulled in a game-high seven draw controls for the Bison.

The Lady Flames were an efficient 14-for-17 on clear attempts, besting Bucknell's 11-for-16.  Liberty also converted on 3-of-6 free-position shots, compared to the Bison's previously mentioned 4-for-14.

Liberty was whistled for 15 more fouls in the game (42-27), and was penalized with five yellow cards, to Bucknell's four.

Next up for Liberty is a meeting with Virginia Tech.  The Lady Flames and Hokies will square off next Tuesday at 6 p.m., in Blacksburg, Va.