WESTFIELD – Championship MVP Marissa Yowell (Ashland, Mass.) scored the game winning goal 51 seconds into overtime to lift second seeded Bridgewater State University to an 11-10 win over top seed Westfield State at Alumni Field on Saturday night.
Bridgewater (12-5) earns the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the win. Westfield completes its season with a 14-5 overall record.
Bridgewater’s game winner came off of a pass from junior Melissa Renauld (Framingham, Mass.), who fed the ball from the top of the fan to Yowell, who was unmarked about five yards in front of the cage on the left side. Yowell one-timed the ball past Owls goalkeeper Mimi Khapaeng and into the back of the net,
Bridgewater sprinted out to a 5-1 lead with Alex King (North Weymouth, Mass.) netting the fourth and fifth goal.
Westfield swung the momentum in the final 11 minutes of the half. Roni Orcutt (Westfield HS/Granville, Mass.) ripped a shot from the top of the fan at 10:39 to cut the lead to 5-2. Samantha Lungarini (Agawam, Mass.) gave the Owls a boost heading to the locker room as she ran down Jordan Daniels’ (Northampton/Florence, Mass.) last-gasp pass with eight seconds left in the half and beat Bridgewater goalie Allie Forman (Marblehead, Mass.) to cut the lead to 6-4 at the intermission.
Bridgewater held possession for nearly a five-minute stretch early in the second half, but did not add a goal until the 17:29 mark as Elizabeth Ettridge (Marshfield, Mass.) scored in transition with a nice move to beat an Owl defender after a long breakout pass from Geary.
Westfield responded by scoring the next five goals. Blair Smith (Milford, Mass.) tallied the first two, one off of a right-side pass from Stephanie Godek (West Springfield, Mass.) in transition, the next on a free position shot. The Owls’ next three goals were all of the free-position variety, as Godek, Orcutt and finally Samantha Coyle (Weymouth, Mass.) converted from the fan.
Coyle’s bounce shot with 10:39 to play gave Westfield a 9-7 lead.
The Bears answered in kind, with Lauren Geary (Hull, Mass.) sneaking in a shot that skipped off the underside of the cross bar, and then Rebecca McGlone (East Lyme/Salem, Conn.) scored on a drive to the net with 6:20 to play in an extra-attacker situation to tie the game at 9-9.
Orcutt let a high shot rip from 6 yards out with 4:15 to play to give Westfield a 10-9 lead, and then Bridgewater tallied with 1:24 to play as King fed Geary from the top, with Geary wheeling to the net and firing the ball in the back of the net.
Geary won possession on the draw, but a Bridgewater charge gave the ball back to Westfield. Smith got a quality shot off with 25 seconds left in regulation with her blast ricocheting off the helmet of Forman.
Forman finished with 13 saves for the Bears. Geary scored four goals and added two assists and came up with 11 draw controls, while King scored two with four assists.
Westfield was led by three goals from Orcutt and two from Smith. Owls senior goalie Mimi Khampaeng (Minnechaug/Hampden, Mass.) stopped nine shots.
The game had an eerie similarity to the 2015 title game between the two schools where BSU jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Westfield rallied to take a two goal lead late in the second half of that one, before a late Renauld goal forced OT, and another Renauld goal 1:56 into OT proved the winner. – Courtesy of Westfield State Sports