Poughkeepsie, NY - When the Clarkson University Women's Lacrosse team got a shot off against Vassar more often than not it found its way into the goal as the Golden Knights withstood an impressive comeback by the hosts to claim a 14-12 Liberty League win Friday afternoon.
The Golden Knights improved to 7-2 overall and 2-2 in the Liberty League, matching the program's highest win total for a season, while Vassar fell to 5-2 overall and 1-2 in conference games. Clarkson will take on Bard College on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Knights raced out of the gates against Vassar, scoring four times in just over seven minutes. The Brewers pulled back to within two goals twice, but Katie VanDeValk (Baldwinsville, NY) scored her third goal of the half with 1:14 remaining to push the Knights advantage to 8-4 at the break. Despite the four-goal advantage at halftime, Clarkson trailed in shots by two, but controlled the game in the middle with a 9-4 edge in draw controls, thanks in large part to freshman Christine Wright (Watertown, NY), who supplemented her four points in the opening 30 minutes with six draw wins.
Clarkson extended its lead to 10-4 in the first few minutes of the second half and looked ready to cruise to its second conference win of the season. However, midway through the second half Vassar found its offensive spark and scored three times in just 31 seconds to cut the margin in half. Within the next four minutes, the Brewers were back to within a single goal, and the final two goals of the half were scored by Vassar as the two teams found themselves knotted up at 11-11.
With all of the momentum seemingly in Vassar's favor, including a 17-5 advantage in shots in the second half, it was actually Clarkson that was able to reverse the momentum in the overtime period. VanDeValk scored a goal with 47 seconds left before the overtime break and then Alyssa Cristaldi (North Syracuse, NY) scored a key goal with just two seconds to go before the switch. Vassar pulled back to within one with 1:54 remaining, but Noelle Miller (Hamburg, NY) picked a great time to score her second goal of the season, recording the insurance marker with just 32 seconds remaining.
VanDeValk led the team offensively with six points on five goals and an assist and Cristaldi added three goals and two assists. Wright produced a pair of goals and three assists and Marissa Mastronardi (Cortland, NY) came through with two goals and an assist. Miller and Kerrie Cline (Tuxedo, NY) also pitched in a goal each while Abby Doyle (Syracuse, NY) and Jeannette Pendergast (Greenfield Center, NY) each recorded an assist. VanDeValk, Miller, and Emma Jeffery (Baldwinsville, NY) each had five groundballs.
Junior goalkeeper Kara DiNatale (Auburn, NH) made nine saves in the Clarkson goal, while the duo of Katharine Pula and Mallory Tyler combined to make just a single save for the Brewers. Vassar out shot Clarkson 33-19 and held a 16-13 edge in draw controls while the Knights had a modest 26-25 advantage in groundballs.