CLINTON, NY -- Despite trailing almost the entire game, the Williams College women's lacrosse team (10-1, 6-1 NESCAC) tied and then defeated the Hamilton College Continentals (4-7, 1-7 NESCAC) 9-8 in overtime when Bridget Malicki faked a flip pass and pressed hard toward the net to fire in the game-winning goal for the Ephs.
Unranked at the beginning of the season, the Ephs are now ranked 10th nationally in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Association (IWLCA) rankings. This hard-fought win extends the Eph's eight-game winning streak.
The Continentals came out strong in the first half, established an early three-goal lead, and ended the period up 5-3. The Continentals' scoring began at the 25:55 mark with a goal from Katie D'Antonio off an assist from Taylor Ryan.
The Ephs would not get on the board for nearly ten more minutes when Anne Rehfuss converted a free-position shot at 16:04. Rebecca McGovern capitalized on a second free-position shot to edge in on the Continentals' lead, bringing the game to 3-2.
The Continentals once again pulled ahead by two only to have the Ephs score to bring the game within a goal. However, Ryan scored a goal of her own with 1:15 remaining in the half to once again take a two-goal lead to end the half.
The Continentals continued to dominate the second half, at one point establishing a four-goal lead. Though Williams' Stephanie Gallo scored the first goal of the half to inch in on the Continentals with a free-position shot, the Continentals would answer back with two consecutive free-position goals and a final goal by Margaret Gabriel.
With the score 8-4 and 16:25 remaining in the contest, the Ephs began their comeback. McGovern began the scoring streak with an unassisted goal and Malicki then tallied another goal for the Ephs off an assist from McGovern to bring the game within two.
Hamilton goalie Hannah Rubin halted the Eph's attack with two saves before Rebecca Bell fired in an unassisted goal for the Ephs to make it a 8-7 game with 11:40 remaining.
Over seven minutes of scoreless back-and-forth play followed until McGovern capitalized once again on a free position shot, her 24th goal of the season, to tie up the game with 4:36 remaining. Following two unsuccessful shots by Hamilton in the remaining twenty seconds of the game, regulation time ran out.
The score remained stagnant at 8-8 following the first three-minute overtime half, which the Ephs held possession for the majority of. Gaining possession following an unsuccessful shot by the Continentals, Malicki put in the final goal with 36 seconds left. The Cavalier's gained a free-position in the midfield in the final seconds and hurled the ball toward the attacking end, but they were not able to convert a goal. The clock ran out with the Ephs earning a comeback victory.
Williams head coach Chris Mason remarked, "We came out a little flat and they were fired up. We just slowly were getting it back together and started doing better, but their team is very aggressive, very tough, very good. They have very good defense, very good attackers, and they really gave us a run for our money." She commented that the game was sloppy as a result of bad weather and both teams hustling and forcing turnovers.
Coach Mason added, "I think our team is pretty tough and believes that they can come back from all kinds of challenges, and they did that again. I'm so very impressed by our team and the girls on our team and how they stopped Hamilton from scoring in the last eighteen minutes of the game."
McGovern led the Ephs with three goals and had a remarkable three caused turnovers. Malicki and Stephanie Gallo each tallied two goals. D'Antonio led the Continentals with three goals.
Ali Piltch helped secure the Ephs' victory with two second-half saves. Kari Koga had two saves for the Continentals in the first half and Rubin had five saves in the second half and overtime.
The Ephs will be on the road to face Colby College April 12th at 12:00 PM.