SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team stunned Belmont Abbey College on Saturday afternoon from University Turf Stadium, defeating the Crusaders by a score of 14-12 in overtime. The win gives the Lions their second-straight victory, and advances their mark to 2-4 on the season, while Belmont Abbey drops to a record of 3-3.
It was a team-effort for the Lions, with all areas of the field firing on all cylinders. A total of eight players contributed to the Lions scoring efforts on the day and were led in goals by Alyssa Viscomi and Joanna Chadwick who each netted a hat trick. Stephanie Marran led the team in overall points, scoring two goals and adding two assists for four points.
Brittany Millsap had a big day between the pipes, making 14 saves and earning three ground balls on the afternoon to help give the Lions the edge. For the Crusaders, Danielle Ruffalo made 12 saves, including one in extra time.
The Crusaders were headed up by Lindsay Connolly, who had a big afternoon with four goals and two assists.
The Lions found themselves in a three goal hole after the opening five minutes, but a goal from Marran with 25:15 on the clock put the Saint Leo on the scoreboard. Belmont Abbey answered back a minute later to pull back out to a three-goal lead, 4-1, but the Lions finally kicked things into high gear and posted five consecutive goals between the 20:14 and 5:32 marks to set the score at 6-4 in favor of the Green and Gold.
Belmont Abbey closed out the half with two goals within 25 seconds of each other, knotting the score at 6-6 at the break.
The Lions came out of the half and rattled off two quick goals, but a four goal run from the Crusaders put Belmont Abbey back in the lead with a score of 10-8 with 18:05 to go in regulation. Saint Leo fought back and netted four goals, putting the Lions back in the lead with a score of 12-10 and 2:23 left in the second half.
Despite the Lions' best defensive efforts, Belmont Abbey scored two goals to pull even by a score of 12-12 with 54 seconds left in regulation. On the ensuing draw control, Saint Leo gained possession, but with the time quickly falling off of the clock, were unable to capitalize on any of their offensive opportunities.
The Lions entered into the overtime period cool, calm, and collected, utilizing their time with the ball wisely and making smart decisions despite the high-pressure situation. Marran netted a goal at the 3:01 mark, and then Cassie Miller helped secure the victory with an unassisted goal with 25 seconds left in extra time.
Both teams were even on the overall shot count, 32-32, but Saint Leo had the edge in ground balls, 22-19, and draw controls, 15-14. The Lions were successful on 15-of-18 clear attempts and converted 2-of-4 free-position shots, all from Viscomi.
The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team returns to action on Monday, March 11, when they host Tiffin at University Turf Stadium. Game time against the Dragons is slated for 4 p.m. Fans who cannot make it to the game can catch all of the action live on the Saint Leo Sports Network at saintleolions.com. For the latest news, updates, and information, fans can 'Like' the Lions on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.