Courtesy of Messiah Sports Information
WASHINGTON - No. 17 Catholic University scored an overtime game-winner to complete a comeback over No. 14 Messiah College and move to the Second Round of the NCAA Championships Tournament.
In the first-half, Messiah outshot Catholic 7-3 and outcornered the Cardinals 6-2. Right before the intermission, Messiah had two penalty corner opportunities, but Catholic's defense stood strong. The game remained scoreless heading into the break.
Off a restart about seven minutes into the second-half, Messiah went up 1-0 on Moriah Pfautz's 24th goal of the season. A pass from Brooke Sands led Pfautz who drove to the goal and pulled keeper Megan Comunle out before sending the ball into the cage.
Catholic found the equalizer less than five minutes later. Ellen Thorburn scored with the assist from Rebecca Lukaszczyk. After the goal, the majority of play occurred in the midfield with neither team getting very far into their respective offensive thirds.
With the clock ticking down, Messiah earned three penalty corners with the last one producing their best scoring chance. Celina Nissley's last-second shot was saved by Comunale, and the game headed into overtime.
In the overtime session with seven-on-seven hockey, Catholic would score the golden-goal game-winner just 3:12 into the period. Moments earlier Molly Gebrosky made a crucial save on Maura Campbell's shot, but the save led to a Cardinals penalty corner. Off the corner, the ball was played to the top of the circle before Campbell sent a screamer into the congested circle and somehow found the back of the cage.
Catholic advances to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament where they will face DePauw at Christopher Newport in Newport News, Va. on Saturday.