There were a handful of likely heroes today with the bulk of the scoring being done by four players. Kim Rochon and Shannon Eidse each tallied five for the Rams while Vanessa Turner and Laurie Sienkiewics scored four a piece for the Mercyhurst Lakers. Between the four players all but five goals were credited. However, when the game was on the line in the third overtime period, Erin Greico became the hero with a clutch goal that clinched it for the Rams. Eidse described the play, which she set up, between gasps at the end of the game. "We were trying to run strong side all day and we were looking for the double. (Greico) was open; I don't know, it was good...I'm dead."
The game started out rather slow with moist grass that was a little grown in. The ball died almost immediately when it hit the ground and between that and the heavy winds, it seemed like it was going to be a long day. The girls didn't let it keep them down; they came to play today. We'll quickly go through the goal scoring to set up the dramatic finish.
Mercyhurst started the scoring by taking a two to nill lead on a free position goal by Turner and a nice finish by Sienkiewics off the Turner feed. West Chester stepped back to assess the situation and then reeled off five unanswered goals to go up 5-2. That would be one of the marks of this game. Just when it looked like one team had the upper hand the other would completely flip-flop the scenario. One thing is for sure though, the Laker's goalie Bonvouloir was magnificent all day, and in the first half she kept it a lot closer than it should have been. She wasn't all that quick, but her positioning and technique looked almost flawless today. She also helped her team with very accurate breakout passes. I didn't mean to go off on a tangent, but she had one helluva' day. So, the score is 5-2 in favor of the Rams and they are really dominating to this point. However, the Rams let up in the last three minutes of the second half and it cost them big when Sienkiewicz scored one with 2:51 remaining and another with 54 seconds left. That is how the half ended.
Sienkiewicz tied the game early in the second half to make it 5-5. A little later she tried to go over Tara Warner's head for a check and wound up clocking her on the skull. It was pretty hard because it sounded like two 2 by 4's knocking together. That's going to leave a mark and leave Sienkiewicz with a yellow card. The Ram's came back with an odd goal by Eidse. She weaved her way in front of the net, but she ran out of an angle when Bonvouloir stepped out. Eidse turned away from the goal and shoveled one over her shoulder. Very creative and effective; the Rams go up 6-5. Kim Rochon put West Chester up by two and then three when on the next draw she blew by everyone with a burst of speed. The Lakers stormed back to tie it up at eight with two more from Turner and one from Elizabeth Roberto. Turner had a somewhat unique ability that opened up more opportunities. Most girls score with speed because you really can't muscle your way in legally. She was extremely deft at switching hands and that enabled her to get by defenders to shoot righty or lefty. Mercyhurst scored the next two and then tried to sit on the lead. With around five minutes to go Danielle Poole, Laker defenseman, attempted to pick Kim Rochon's nose with her stick. I couldn't tell if she got anything, but I did see her pick up a yellow card. With 1:24 left West Chester came within one. Then with time running out Ram attacker Carrie Gibbons flubbed a pass that was right in front of the crease. The mad scramble ensued and the ball popped in the air. It was like the perfect tennis lob to Erin Carr who slammed it for an ace. Let's go to overtime.
It was a strange set-up with two three minute halves where the goalies actually switched sides in between. After that, they moved to three minute sudden death periods. Who else, Eidse and Turner traded goals in the first two overtimes. They then moved to the sudden death period. Fifty-five seconds into it Eidse had a golden opportunity to end it with a free position shot. Bonvouloir stoned her to once again keep her team in it. Finally, Eidse fed Greico for the game winner.
As a side note, make sure you're going the right way on the Pennsylvania Turnpike because if you make a mistake you have to go 20 miles just to make a u-turn.
West Chester vs. Mercyhurst