WESTON, Mass. – Freshman midfielder and All-Tournament MVP Sam Salamone (Milford, Mass.) saved her best goal for last, scoring the eventual game-winner 1:07 into overtime play as the Regis College women's lacrosse team held on to win the 2013 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship over Becker College on Saturday afternoon. The Pride conclude the season at 13-6, while the Hawks finish the year with a 7-10 record.
All-Tournament Team member Grace Politis (Billerica, Mass.) got things started for Regis, receiving a pass from the outside and beating a defender for a clean shot and the 1-0 lead 1:19 in. Salamone added back-to-back goals to give the Pride a quick 3-0 lead just 6:17 into the first half, and it looked like the Pride might run away with the game.
Becker was able to get on the board on a free position shot from freshman Kailee Ruyack (Beacon, N.Y.) at the near halfway point of the opening stanza. It took only 25 seconds for the Pride to reclaim the three goal lead, however, as sophomore midfielder Sashae Walls (Everett, Mass.) cut through the Hawk defense for an open lane shot that beat goalkeeper Shelby Wicks (Shaftsbury, Vt.).
The Hawks cut the deficit to just one after netting back-to-back goals at the 5:11 and 3:42 marks, courtesy of All-Tournament member Christina Boucher (Pawcatuck, Conn.) and Ruyack. With the clock ticking down, Politis was able to strike again for Regis before time expired, as the host squad entered the break with a slight 5-3 lead.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Salamone struck for her third goal of the game on a free position shot. The goal would begin a nearly eleven and a half minute scoring drought for the Crimson & Gold, while the Hawks capitalized by scoring four unanswered goals to claim a narrow 7-6 lead.
Ruyack scored to complete a hat trick for the Hawks, while All-Tournament Team member Ashley Mossey (Ballston Lake, N.Y.), sophomore Mindy Moreau (Canterbury, Conn.), and junior Samantha-Jo Dilkes (Little Falls, N.J.) each scored goals for Becker during that run.
Salamone ended the drought for Regis at the 15:59 mark to knot the game at seven apiece. She weaved through the Hawks' defense and finished with a bounce shot to even the score.
Politis reclaimed the lead for the Pride at the 12:31 mark when, after receiving the ball off a restart, she ran half the length of the field and blasted a shot top shelf. The lead proved to be short-lived as Boucher tied it up again just 48 second later.
With only twelve seconds left in regulation, the Pride had a golden opportunity to win the game as they were rewarded with a free position shot on an open net due to a foul on Wicks. Junior Jacqueline Chila (Monroe, Conn.), an All-Tournament selection, came out of nowhere and blocked a shot that was headed straight for the back of the net to keep the score deadlocked and extend the game into overtime.
After a pair of shots from the Pride sailed off the mark, Salamone finally broke through for Regis after curling through the defense and finishing a shot top shelf. With the slim lead and 4:53 to play, the Pride defense, anchored by All-Tournament Team member Rachel Gagnon (Ashford, Conn.), put in serious work and was able to prevent the Hawks from mustering a single shot in extra time as Regis held on for the win.
Goalkeepers Emma Decker (Southborough, Mass.) (11 saves) and Wicks (19 saves) had solid games for their respective teams and each were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Joining the aforementioned players on the All-Tournament Team are Wheelock College's Christina Cubera (Baltimore, Md.) and Molly Centore (Kennebunk, Maine), as well as Elms College's Brianna Lyons (Canton, Mass.) and Marcia Norat (Brockton, Mass.).
2013 NECC Women's Lacrosse All-Tournament Team
|Sam Salamone*||Regis College||Midfield|
|Grace Politis||Regis College||Attack|
|Rachel Gagnon||Regis College||Defense|
|Emma Decker||Regis College||Goalkeeper|
|Christina Boucher||Becker College||Midfield|
|Ashley Mossey||Becker College||Midfield|
|Jacqueline Chila||Becker College||Defense|
|Shelby Wicks||Becker College||Goalkeeper|
|Christina Cubera||Wheelock College||Midfield|
|Molly Centore||Wheelock College||Midfield|
|Brianna Lyons||Elms College||Midfield|
|Marcia Norat||Elms College||
* Denotes Most Valuable Player