Late Heroics Lead Aggies Over Catamounts In Lacrosse Thriller

Nicole Frantz had eight ground balls and three steals, including one that prevented a potential equalizer with two minutes remaining in the game.<br>(Wayne Tilcock, <i>Davis Enterprise</i>)
 
Nicole Frantz had eight ground balls and three steals, including one that prevented a potential equalizer with two minutes remaining in the game.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

March 24, 2006

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - Junior attacker Katie McMahon scored six goals and senior defender Nicole Frantz posted a key caused turnover in the final minutes of play as UC Davis held on to a thrilling 11-9 victory over Vermont in non-conference women's collegiate lacrosse action at Aggie Field Friday.

With just more than two minutes remaining in the game and the Aggies clinging to a one-goal lead, Catamount sophomore Emilie Clark was awarded a free-position chance from the right hashmark. Frantz stripped the ball from Clark's stick before she could unleash the potential game-tying shot, then began a long transition sequence that ended with McMahon's sixth goal of the game less than a minute later.

UC Davis improves to 4-3 with the win. UVM drops to 5-2 overall.

The final series capped a game that included four lead changes and five tie scores, including the 5-5 knot at halftime. Besides McMahon's output, junior Megan O'Connor scored two goals with an assist, while Alden Monger, Tiffany Lee and Eri Ichikawa each added a counter for the Aggie half of the boxscore. Frantz led the defensive unit with three caused turnovers and eight ground balls.

Midfielder Jessie Peksa lead the Catamounts with three goals. Another freshman, attacker Jennifer Maher, added two more. Clark and Kristen Millar each tallied a game-high two assists. Millar, yet another first-year player, recorded 10 of her team's 15 successful draw controls.

The Aggies drew first blood as freshman Patrice Clark set up O'Connor on a goal just 1:42 into the game. Millar tied the score at the 5:15 on an unassisted goal, then Clark and Maher connected at 7:36 to put UVM up by one. Sophomore Megan Miller had a chance to tie the game shortly after, but Catamount goalie Meaghan Hanley stopped her free-position attempt. Miller redeemed herself midway in the 15th minute, however, setting up Alden Monger on a fast-break goal to tie the game at 2-2.

 

 

UC Davis regained the lead in the 21st minute as McMahon scored her first goal off the bench. Peksa converted her eight-meter chance at 21:28 to tie the game at three each. McMahon again put UC Davis ahead, this time collecting a pass from Kaitlin Moore behind the cage and converting the score at 22:40. The Aggies' leading scorer struck again at 25:50, completing her hat trick on a free-position play, pushing the lead to 5-3.

The Catamounts trimmed the lead back to one as Millar assisted Maheron a goal early in the 28th minute. Then win 45 seconds remaining in the half, Peska earned a free-position shot to tie the game. Aggie goalie Hilary Harkins made the save, but Clark won the rebound and set up Becky Kenison for the equalizer.

UC Davis reclaimed the lead less than four minutes into the second half as Moore's recovery of a UVM save set the stage for McMahon's fourth goal. Again, UVM wasted little time tying the score. Kenison intercepted an Aggie clear attempt near her offensive restraining line, then assisted Ashleigh Wilson for the goal to tie the game at six each.

The Aggies had two shots stopped in the crease by Hanley before regaining the lead for good. Frantz' steal against Kenison in the Catamounts' offensive third set the stage for free-position opportunity for McMahon, who converted her shot at the 40:57 mark. UC Davis bumped the lead up to 9-6, capitalizing on two UVM turnovers in the midfield to set up goals for Lee and Ichikawa.

The Catamounts chipped their way back to a one goal deficit, first scoring on a fast break by Peksa in the 47th minute, then on an unusual play in the 48th. Harkins had strayed so far from her net on a clear attempt that she crossed the restraining line. Thus, when Clark picked up an errant pass, she raced toward an open net. Clark fired one, hitting the post, then Tori Wasson scooped the rebound and finished the play.

Maher and Clark each fired shots to tie the game in the 49th minute, missing wide on each. On UVM's third straight possession, Aggie defender Ranessa Santos corraled a dropped ball and began an Aggie transition play that ended with O'Connor's successful drive to the net. Despite the 10-8 deficit, the Catamounts refused to let up. Jessa Merrill forced a turnover against Clark that eventually led to Peksa's third goal, a weakside shot into the upper right of the net at the 50:56 mark.

The increasing rainfall forced the game into a scoreless struggle for the next six minutes. Each team committed three turnovers and the two goalies each made key saves to freeze the scoreboard at 10-9. Finally, an Aggie foul inside the fan provided Clark with her free-position chance, Frantz' steal and McMahon's goal to seal the game.

UC Davis heads to Virginia for a stretch of three games in five days, starting with Sunday's action at Longwood.

Vermont (5-2) 5 4 - 9
UC Davis (4-3) 5 6 - 11

GOALS - UVM: Jessie Peska 3, Jennifer Maher 2, Kristen Millar 1, Becky Kenison 1, Tori Wasson 1, Ashleigh Wilson 1. UC Davis: Katie McMahon 6, Megan O'Connor 2, Alden Monger 1, Tiffany Lee 1, Eri Ichikawa 1.

ASSISTS - UVM: Emilie Clark 2, Kristen Millar 2, Becky Kenison 1. UC Davis: Patrice Clark 1, Megan Miller 1, Kaitlin Moore 1, Megan O'Connor 1.

GOALIES - UVM: Meaghan Hanley 9 saves, 11 goals against (60:00). UC Davis: Hilary Harkins 8 saves, 9 goals against (60:00).