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April 4, 2014

Vendel's third OT game-winner pushes Bulldogs to 7-6 victory at Wagner

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Behind a stellar effort from senior goalkeeper Brianna Watt (Babylon, N.Y.), the Bryant University women's lacrosse team defeated Wagner, 7-6, in double overtime Friday afternoon in Staten Island, N.Y.

It took two extra periods to decide, but the Bulldogs (7-3) squeaked out yet another come-from-behind victory to earn their first Northeast Conference win of the 2014 season.

"Our defense did a great job at making stops when we needed them the most," said Bryant head coach Jill DePetris-Batcheller. "Brianna [Watt] was huge, especially in overtime where she made a couple big plays which really sparked the momentum for our strong finish."

Watt was tremendous between the pipes from start to finish, making a season-high tying 11 saves in her seventh victory of the year, while classmates Lisa Vendel (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Haley Bloom (Hauppauge, N.Y.) each put home a trio of scores on the afternoon.

After finding themselves down 4-1 with just over eight minutes to play in the first period, the Black and Gold rallied back just before the halftime break thanks to two goals in 12 seconds from Vendel and Bloom, respectively, to cut the deficit to just one, 4-3, heading into locker room.

Less than a minute into the second half, sophomore Lauren Descalzo (Hauppauge, N.Y.) fired home her lone score off the afternoon on a free position attempt to knot the score, 4-4. After a Kimmy Tumolo goal at the 28:29 mark put Wagner back on top, the two teams stood scoreless for nearly 17 minutes until Bloom put away her third marker of the contest to tie the score, 5-5, with under 12 minutes to go.

Almost six minutes later, the Bulldogs earned their eighth free position attempt of the contest, setting up Vendel for her second goal of the day, granting Bryant its first lead since the 27-minute mark of the first half. With under five minutes to play, the Seahawks capitalized on a Bulldog turnover and brought the score even, 6-6, on a Shea Gegan score, tying the game for the fifth time. When the final buzzer of regulation sounded, the two teams stood tied, 6-6, forcing the first of three overtimes.

Throughout the course of the three extra periods, the Seahawks outshot the Bulldogs, 3-1. However, the lone free position attempt of overtime belonged to Vendel, who buried her third goal of the contest and third sudden-death game-winning goal of the season at the 1:05 mark of the third OT, propelling the Black and Gold to the 7-6 comeback victory.

"Although it wasn't our best performance, it's great to get out to a good start in conference play," added DePetris-Batcheller. "Hopefully we can harness some of this momentum when we head to Mount St. Mary's on Sunday."

The Black and Gold will wrap up their weekend road trip on Sunday (12 p.m.) when they head to Emmitsburg, Md., for a showdown with the Mountaineers. Visit BryantBulldogs.com for links to live stats and streaming video of Sunday's action.

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