Last-Minute Goals Propel Ohio to 15-13 Lacrosse Win
Gombeski’s Goal with 32 Seconds Left Breaks 13-13 Tie
Contact: Jim Stephan
Junior midfielder Kristen Gombeski's second goal of the game broke a 13-13 tie with just 32 seconds remaining.
ATHENS, Ohio – Melissa Menna (Downington, Pa.) and Lynz Keys (Whitby, Ontario) tallied five goals each, but Kristen Gombeski’s second goal of the game proved most important, breaking a 13-13 tie with 32 seconds left to lead Ohio to a 15-13 non-conference win over St. Bonaventure Friday afternoon at Pruitt Field. Gombeski, a native of Finksburg, Md., gained possession nearly 30 yards out, then found a seam straight down the middle of the field to fire off the winning shot.
Caitlin Link (Finksburg, Md.) scored a pair for Ohio (6-6), while Becky Oxman (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) added a goal and an assist. The Bonnies, now 7-5 after seeing their three-game winning streak snapped, were led by Kelly Chevez and Nicole Motondo, who had three goals each.
The Bobcats dominated the game early, scoring just 1:43 in on a Keys-to-Link connection. After St. Bonaventure tied it at one on a goal by Laura Spaulding, Ohio ran off four straight goals to make the score 5-1. Keys started the run at 10:23 before the leading scorers struck 12 seconds apart – Keys again at 11:46 and Menna at 11:58. Keys capped the spurt with her third of the game with 16:49 left in the period.
The Bonnies climbed back into the contest with goals 19 seconds apart by Sarah Dressler (14:12) and Chavez (14:31). The teams then alternated the next four goals and went to intermission with Ohio holding a 7-5 lead. Gombeski found the net at 19:36, followed quickly by SBU’s Megan Murphy at 20:19. Link scored with exactly six minutes left, but Motondo answered 27 seconds later.
The scoring picked up quickly in the second half as the teams recorded four goals in the first 3:15. St. Bonaventure tied the score at seven with goals by Courtney Gibbons and Chevez at 31:15 and 31:52, respectively. Menna broke the tie less than a minute later (32:39) before the Bonnies equalized on a goal by Spaulding at 33:15.
After neither team found the net for nearly eight minutes, Ohio ran off four straight goals for a 12-8 lead. Menna tallied three of those, at 41:55, 47:02 from Oxman and 49:32. In between, Keys converted a breakaway at 47:39.
But the Bonnies would rally, getting back-to-back goals from Chevez and Motondo to close to 12-10. After a goal by Oxman with 4:30 to play stretched the lead back to three, SBU mounted its final rally. Strikes by Motondo, Murphy and Gibbons within 1:17 evened the game at 13 with 1:14 remaining and set up the final heroics.
The final score was made when Keyz added an insurance goal with just three seconds left.
“This was a great win for us,” said Ohio head coach Kate Brew. “The girls had a lot of confidence and it was wonderful to see them possess the ball and control the tempo. Melissa did a great job challenging the goal and finding open areas of the net. Defensively, Molly and Meg (Ryan) applied a lot of pressure against their attackers.
Ohio returns to action Sunday when it hosts American Lacrosse Conference rival Penn State at noon.