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Women's lax tips Williams as O'Neill sets team scoring record

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Senior Joan O'Neill became the Bates women's lacrosse team's all-time leading scorer, and senior Jenna Dannis scored the game-winning goal with 42 seconds left, leading the No. 19 nationally ranked Bobcats to an 11-10 NESCAC victory at Williams on Saturday.

The Ephs (3-4, 0-4 NESCAC) led 7-4 heading into the break, but were unable to overcome a strong second half from Bates (4-4, 2-4 NESCAC), which outscored Williams 7-3 while outshooting the Ephs 14-7 and winning seven of 11 draws in the second 30 minutes.

O'Neill scored three goals and had a season-high four assists in the game. Her seven points give her 187 for her career, passing the former team record of 182 held by Molly Wagner '08. O'Neill also extended her own team assists record to 59 in her career.

Dannis (Milford, N.H.) scored a season-high three goals and also controlled five draws. Senior Maggie Reilly (Wellesley, Mass.) and sophomore Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) added two goals apiece, and first-year Kathy Yannopoulos (Simsbury, Conn.) dished out two assists.

Bates junior goalie Eloise O'Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) had seven saves on the game, and Williams netminder Ali Piltch had six.

Eight different Ephs scored in the game. Sam Weinstein spearheaded the Ephs' offensive effort with two goals and two assists.

Bates scored on its first possession when O'Neill found Dannis streaking from left to right. But Williams quickly went up 3-1 on goals from Emily Whicker, Weinstein and Lilly Wellenbach. In a repeat of the first goal, Dannis scored moving left to right on an assist from O'Neill to make the score 3-2 with 21:03 to play in the half, but Williams answered with a goal from Emily Jablonski and a goal on a free position shot from Rebecca McGovern made the score 5-2 in favor of the Ephs with 17:49 to play.

The game then saw a lull in the scoring until the 12:42 mark. At that point, O'Neill received a pass moving right to left across the face of the goal and quick-sticked a shot past Piltch to break the Bates points record and make the score 5-3. Bates scored again on an 8-meter shot by Pierce with 10:52 to play before another lull in the scoring.

The Ephs appeared to be in trouble when they went a man down with 10 minutes to play on a yellow card for Jablonski, but the defense held firm. With 4:40 to play, Meera Silvalingam flung the ball past O'Connor as she fell going to her right to make the score 6-4 in favor of the Ephs. The first half scoring was then capped on a goal from Weinstein coming around the goal off a forced turnover with 39 seconds left; the goal pushed the Ephs' lead to 7-4 headed into the break.

Bates came out of halftime with force. The Bobcats held Williams to one shot and scored five unanswered goals in the first 15 minutes of the half to take a 9-7 lead. Reilly closed it to 7-5 inside the first five minutes, and Pierce made it 7-6 with an unassisted tally with 20:16 left. Reilly scored the game-tying goal on a free-position shot a minute later. O'Neill found sophomore Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) for the Bobcats' first lead since 1-0 with 18:58 left in the half, and Bates' run was capped by another quick stick from O'Neill with 16:52 to play.

But Williams ripped off three unanswered goals of its own to retake the lead. The first came off a spin from right to left from Margie Fulton with 14:52 to play. The Ephs retied the game with 8:24 to play when Taylor Fleisheicker received a pass from McGovern and flipped the ball behind her head and past O'Connor. On the ensuing man-up opportunity, the Ephs retook the lead on a solo effort from Katie Ellis with 7:35 to play.

O'Neill stepped up again with an unassisted goal with 2:12 to play to retie the game at 10-10. After Bates sophomore SooHee Yoon (Lexington, Mass.) won the crucial ensuing draw, Bates held the ball until there were 42 seconds remaining. Dannis then beat her defender to go 1-on-1 with Piltch and scored on a bounce shot to give the Bobcats the victory.

Bates plays a non-conference game at Wellesley College tomorrow at 11:30am.

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