Bearcats Win Third Straight in Dramatic Fashion

March 14, 2014

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CINCINNATI - Courtney Curtis scored four times and Torrie Zarella scored the game winner with three seconds remaining as the University of Cincinnati lacrosse team defeated Coastal Carolina, 12-11, in the home opener on Saturday at Gettler Stadium. The Bearcats (4-3) have won three straight.

Curtis (Mason, Ohio/William Mason) saw her four goals matched by Taylor Young (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore). Ashley Helmrath (Ellicott City, Md./Maryvale Prep)scored twice while Sarah Del Bene (Timonium, Md./Dulaney) scored once along with Zarella (Great Falls, Va./Langley). Helmrath added an assist.

The Chanticleers (2-6) were led by three goals from Sara Nolan, while Keri White, Charlotte O'Leary and Lily Yednock each scored twice. Paige Imberg and Rachel Waldron had single goals for Coastal.

The Bearcats, playing at home for the first time in seven games, faced adversity early when the squad's leading scorer, Megan Bell (Parkton, Md./Hereford), left the game two minutes in with an injury. Curtis then gave UC the first goal of the game 4:45 in.

Coastal started clicking, scoring three of the next four goals. Young and Curtis responded to cut the deficit to 4-3, before the Chants scored five of the next six to build an 8-5 lead.

Cincinnati responded before the half, with goals from Helmrath and Del Bene to make it a one-goal game, 8-7, at the break. Statistically, things were just as close as the score in the first half, with the teams tied in shots (14), ground balls (eight) and draw controls (eight).

The Bearcats and Chanticleers alternated goals in the second half, leading to an 11-9 Coastal lead with 11:18 to play. Cincinnati responded and got a goal from Young, followed by a score from Curtis to tie things up with 7:12 to play.

Both teams slowed down the game attempting to keep possession of the ball. It looked like Coastal had scored a potential game winner with 4:23 left, but it was ruled the goal was scored with an illegal stick. Cincinnati took over for what would lead to the game-clinching possession.

The Bearcats took over and successfully worked it into the attack end before Helmrath began to milk the clock in the corner. With 60 seconds remaining, head coach Gina Oliver took at timeout to set-up a play. Zarella wound up in the right spot at the right time and converted with three seconds remaining to provide the final margin of 12-11.

For the game, Cincinnati ended up with a 22-21 advantage in shots. Coastal held a 14-11 advantage in draw controls, while the teams were even on ground balls. Coastal was five of nine on clear attempts, while UC cleared six of seven.

The Bearcats face a quick turnaround as they look for their fourth-straight win. UC hosts Iona on Sunday, March 16, with opening draw set for Noon.