POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Junior Jamie Romano (Kings Park, N.Y.) scored with one second left in the first overtime period, giving the third-seeded Marist women’s lacrosse team a 7-6 victory over second-seeded Fairfield in the semifinal round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships on Friday at Tenney Stadium.
Romano’s goal was assisted by senior Amanda Tuck (Mamaroneck, N.Y.), who also scored the game’s first goal. Senior Ashley Miller (Montville, N.J.) had two goals and an assist, and sophomore Kirsten Viscount (Smithtown, N.Y.) scored two second-half goals.
Senior goalkeeper Ashley Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.) made 12 saves for the Red Foxes, including two off of free-positions late in the game, with five seconds in regulation and 31 seconds in the first overtime periods.
In a close game throughout, the teams traded leads over the opening 30 minutes as Marist went up 1-0 at 28:52 before seeing Fairfield go ahead 2-1 with back-to-back goals at 20:09 and 18:52. A free-position goal by Miller tied it up for Marist at 2-2 at 15:36.
After Amanda Best put the Stags up 3-2 at 11:54, freshman Allison Gionta (Eastport, N.Y.) found Miller for her second goal of the game at 6:02 to knot it at 3-3 before the half.
In the second half, Marist opened with three goals on three shots as Viscount netted back-to-back markers at 26:28 and 19:03. The sophomore continued her strong play with a successful draw control to gain the Red Foxes another possession. Within 50 seconds of the draw control, Marist was up 6-3 on a Miller to Gionta connection for the freshman's first goal of the game.
Strong defensive action and slow, deliberate possesions by both teams would continue over the next six minutes. Finally, 17:16 into the second half, Fairfield would break throught with its first goal of the period to make it 6-4. This goal by the Stags broke a 29:20 scoreless streak.
Two Fairfield goals in quick succession at 8:51 and 7:27 would tie the game for the fourth time.
Over the final 7:27 of regulation play, both goalkeepers came up huge as Casiano made three saves, while Fairfield's Katie Keenan made two.
After 60 minutes of play the team's set forth in battle in overtime.
In the first half of the overtime period, Casiano made her second straight free-position save as she stopped a Melanie Raso attempt with 31 seconds left in the intial three-minute half. With time running out, the Red Foxes raced down the field to step themselves up in the offensive zone. After a few passes in close quarters around the mouth of the goal, Tuck found Romano for a one-timer shot with one second remaining, that had just enough pace on it to make it past Fairfield's keeper and across the goal line.
Marist won the draw control for the second three-minute overtime period, and Fairfield never gained possession back as the Red Foxes held on for the dramatic 7-6 extra period victory.
For the game, Fairfield outshot Marist 30-16 with an 18-13 advantage on shots on goal. The Stags also had more ground balls at 15-13. Both teams won eight draw controls.
With her victory in goal, Casiano increased her career total to 22, which ties the all-time program record with Liz Burkhard (’05-08) and Heather Ripp (’02-05).
Marist (9-9), which has won eight of its last 10 games, is now in the MAAC championship game for sixth time in program history, and fifth time in the last seven years. The Red Foxes will face top-seeded Canisius for the championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. The top-seeded Golden Griffins (13-4), who are the two-time defending conference champions, defeated fourth-seeded Siena 14-7 in Friday’s first semifinal.