COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College women's lacrosse team made the most of every last second to grab its first Centennial Conference victory of the season.
Sophomore Hanna Crowley scored as time expired on a beautiful feed from senior Bridget Sherry, lifting the Bears (2-9, 1-4) into the win column in heart-stopping fashion. After a re-start in the Bears' defensive zone with 18 seconds remaining, Sherry took the ball around midfield and sped towards the Green Terror cage, finding Crowley unmarked at the left post for an unbelievable game-winner as the buzzer sounded.
The pulsating final sequence was made possible by a brilliant save from senior Kaitlyn France, who got down to stop a low shot that appeared ticketed for the bottom right corner. McDaniel (4-7, 0-4) won the draw with less than 90 seconds to play and could have held for a final shot, but decided to take a chance and came up empty.
The Bears received a balanced effort from its primary contributors in overcoming a two-goal deficit early in the second half. Sophomores Grace Langen and Hannah Reape each scored four goals, with Langen handing out two assists; Reape came in with one goal for the season before Saturday's outburst, which saw her register a hat trick by halftime. Reape also collected five draw controls, topping Sherry and senior Emily Blaszkow by one for the team lead.
Reape netted the first two goals for the home side, which led 2-1 before the Green Terror went on a run of three unanswered markers. McNeave set up back-to-back goals by Crowley and Langen to pull even, but McDaniel scored three of the next four to go up 7-5 late in the first half. A goal from freshman Jill Verrelle, from an assist by DiGiorgio, cut it to one with 1:15 remaining in the opening stanza.
Kealey Allison's free-position goal made it 8-6 in favor of the visitors early in the second, but Langen deposited back-to-back shots into the back of the cage, first on an eight-meter attempt and again on a wheeling effort that deadlocked the teams once more with 25:56 to play.
After the Green Terror nosed back in front, Crowley finished off a pass from McNeave and DiGiorgio came from around the net for an unassisted marker just shy of the midway point of the stanza.
Tied again at 10 after another Allison goal, Langen put Ursinus back ahead with a perfectly symmetrical goal, potting the Bears' 11th of the afternoon with 11:11 on the clock. Just over a minute later, Crowley found DiGiorgio in front of the cage to hand Ursinus its first two-goal advantage.
Reape's fourth goal made it 13-11, but the Green Terror grabbed two in a row to tie the score once more with 4:04 to play. Following a yellow card on McDaniel, DiGiorgio scored on a dish from McNeave to give the Bears a 14-13 edge at the 3:08 mark.
McDaniel netted the equalizer with 1:31 left and controlled the ensuing draw before the wild final sequence swung the balance in favor of the Bears.
Sophomore Molly Divis led the Ursinus defense with five ground balls, while Sherry added four grounders to her stat line. Sherry, Blaszkow, and sophomore Julia Gilpin each caused a pair of turnovers in front of France, who was sensational from start to finish. The senior racked up 17 saves, including several from point-blank range and a few on free-positon shots. Eleven of her stops were in the second half.
The women's lacrosse team hopes to build on Saturday's stunner when it heads to No. 7 Franklin & Marshall on Saturday.