Emerson claims ECAC Championship in a shootout
BOSTON -- Emerson College claimed the 2015 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Championship, edging the University of New England in a shootout, 4-3, after the two teams had played to a 2-2 double-overtime tie Sunday afternoon (Nov. 15) at Sweeney Field on the campus of Wentworth Institute of Technology.
The seventh-seeded Lions earned their first ECAC championship and finish the season with a 12-6-3 record. Fourth-seeded UNE (13-7-1) was making its second consecutive appearance in the ECAC title game.
After the match ended 2-2, Tournament Most Outstanding Player Melanie Escobar stopped the Nor'easters' first two penalty kick attempts, while Jess Frost and Paige Haley converted for Emerson.
UNE's Jackie Dickerson and the Lions' Christine White would exchange conversions to make the tally 3-1 in favor of Emerson after three rounds. Hanna Sihler found the back of the net to get the Nor'easters within one (3-2) before UNE goalkeeper Brielle Robinson made a spectacular stop to keep the count 3-2 and close out the fourth round.
Edie Pallozzi tied it up for UNE at 3-3, but Tayllar Righini gave Emerson the title by converting the final attempt.
UNE had grabbed a 2-0 first-half lead on goals by Devon Wolfenden and Tate Paul. Wolfenden headed home a cross by Anna Michaud in the third minute, and Paul registered her first collegiate marker with a header off a corner kick service from Brionne Turcotte in the 39th minute.
The Nor'easters would take that 2-0 cushion into intermission after doubling-up (8-4) Emerson in shots over the initial 45 minutes.
The Lions got their offense cranked up after halftime, getting back-to-back goals from Frost less than five minutes apart (62nd, 66th minute). Frost's first goal, which came off a feed from Natalie Benjamin, grazed the crossbar before going in. Her second was on a set piece, as she knocked down a drive by Alyssa Giannone right in front of the goal and directed into the left side.
Neither team would have many quality scoring opportunities in the two overtime periods, although UNE did have six shots compared to just one for Emerson. For the match, the Nor'easters led 19-11 in shots.
Escobar finished with 10 saves for the Lions, while Robinson had four for the Nor'easters.