April 21, 2012

Fresno Rallies Past UC Davis for First MPSF Win

from press release

DAVIS, Calif. - Sophomore Briana Hetherington assisted junior midfielder Sara Weber for a goal two minutes and five seconds into the first sudden-victory period, leading Fresno State to a 12-11 win over UC Davis and its first-ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation women's lacrosse victory, at Aggie Stadium Saturday.

The Aggies fall to 5-10 for the year and finish at 2-5 in MPSF play. The Bulldogs improve to 3-10 overall and end their conference slate with a 1-6 mark.

Freshman Charlotte Morris had two goals with two assists to lead UC Davis offensively. Freshman Elizabeth Landry and juniors Hannah Mirza and Elizabeth Datino matched Morris' goals total. Landry and defender Tess Alekna each tallied three caused turnovers while junior Anna Geissbuhler led all Aggies with four draw controls.

Lauren Natale, Marcy Levatino and Taylor Fiehler each scored two goals for FSU. Sophomore attacker Natalie Harrington posted five assists, all in her team's second-half comeback.

UC Davis scored four of the first five goals, and seven of the first nine to craft an early lead. Fiehler and Hetherington each hit eight-meter shots down the stretch of the first half to bring the halftime score to 7-4.

Morris scored back-to-back goals in the 36th and 40th minutes to bump the Aggies' lead to its fullest at 10-6. However, the Bulldogs answered with three straight to trim the lead to 10-9 at the 14:34 mark. Then after UC Davis junior Stephanie Guercio scored on a drive just seconds later to double the margin to two, FSU continued to whittle at the lead. Levatino scored with 11:48 remaining to slash the deficit back to 11-10. The Aggies committed two turnovers, missed an eight-meter shot and was charged with a yellow card, allowing Natale to score a power-play equalizer with 3:35 remaining.

Freshman Allie Lehner won the next draw and UC Davis played to one shot. But a free-position attempt sailed left of the cage with seconds in regulation, sending the two teams into extra frames.

Geissbuhler won the initial draw in overtime but an offensive foul near the end of the first three-minute segment put the ball into FSU territory. The Bulldogs could not convert, then won the draw for the next three minutes. Facing a Fresno eight-meter opportunity, Aggie goalie Jordan Majka stopped Kara Concheck's attempt for the go-ahead goal. FSU retained possession until a Mirza steal gave UC Davis another chance on its attacking end. The Aggies lost possession on an errant pass, and neither team managed to even challenge the cage as the third period wound down.

As she had in the initial overtime, Geissbuhler won the all-important draw of the first sudden-victory period. Guercio fired another shot to the goal's top shelf, but Fresno goaltender Lisa Barnaba stopped it for her eighth save. The Bulldogs cleared the midfield quickly, then Hetherington's pass set up a perfect quick-stick look for Weber for the game-winner.

Fresno State outshot its host by a 16-8 margin after halftime after surrendering a 14-11 deficit before the break. While draw controls (13-13), turnovers (Aggies, 15-17) and ground balls (Fresno, 19-17) were relatively close, the game saw a wide discrepancy with fouls. UC Davis was called for 30 while Fresno State committed just nine.

UC Davis finishes up its 2012 season with a home game against Saint Mary's on Tuesday. That game was recently moved up an hour to 2 p.m. Admission is free for women's lacrosse at Aggie Stadium.


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