TULEJA LIFTS WOMEN’S LAX PAST SIMMONS IN 3OT, 11-10
BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore middie Kristen Tuleja (Mansfield, Mass.) scored the game-winning goal 56 seconds into a sudden-death third overtime to lift the Emmanuel College women's lacrosse team over Simmons College, 11-10, Tuesday evening at Roberto Clemente Field. The win for the Saints was their first-ever over Simmons since the teams began competing in 2011 and helps EC improve to 4-1 overall and stay perfect in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference at 4-0. The Sharks fall to 4-2 on the year and 3-1 in GNAC play.
With the score deadlocked at 9-9 after regulation, Emmanuel took a 10-9 lead 59 seconds into the first overtime session as Tuleja finished a feed from freshman middie Abaigeal Merrigan (Rye, N.H.). The Sharks responded with a free position score from junior attack Stephanie Oliveri (Waltham, Mass.) with just five seconds left in the first OT to even the score at 10-10.
A scoreless second overtime period included a pair of brilliant saves by EC sophomore goalkeeper Lauren White (Lynnfield, Mass.) forced the sudden-death period, setting the late-game heroics for Tuleja.
The Saints were in control of the action early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead before Simmons sophomore middie Greeg Gilbert (Falmouth, Mass.) put the visitors on the board with 18:06 left in the first half to make it 3-1. An Emmanuel score by junior middie Sarah Wootten (Berlin, Md.) bumped the hosts lead to 4-1 before Simmons close the half strong, scoring four unanswered goals including a Gilbert marker with just 25 seconds left in the half to take a 5-4 lead into the intermission.
Emmanuel game out of the gates strong in the second, scoring twice to take a 6-5 lead on goals from junior attack Madison Altwies (Southington, Conn.) and Tuleja. The Sharks answered with two quick tallies from senior middie Leanne Luke (Newton, Mass.) and Oliveri to regain a 7-6 lead with 22:14 left in regulation.
A free position shot by junior middie Alexia Basile (West Hartford, Conn.) knotted the game at 7-7 with 13:53 remaining before Gilbert pulled the Sharks back on top, 8-7 with 8:22 left on the clock.
With 5:05 remaining, Tuleja found the back of the net to make it 8-8 and would then give Emmanuel a 9-8 lead with 2:54 to play in the second. Oliveri made sure that the Sharks would have a chance, scoring just 35 seconds later to account for the 9-9 score at the end of regulation.
Tuleja ended the night with five goals and two assists to match the sixth highest single-game point total in EC women's lacrosse history. Basile finished with three points on two goals and an assist while Wootten potted two goals in the win.
Oliveri matched the game-high with five scores of her own for Simmons while Gilberts was just behind her two four goals and one assist.
White earned the win for EC making nine saves while junior goalkeeper Crystal Derosier (Kingston, Mass.) played well for the Sharks, making eight saves in a losing effort.
Emmanuel returns to action on Thursday when they head to Nichols College for a 7:00 PM non-conference game while Simmons is idle until Saturday when they visit Lasell College for a GNAC showdown in a rematch of last year's championship at 12:00 PM.