Field Hockey Drops Heartbreaker on Last-Second Stroke
Updated: Friday 10/09/2015 (ET)
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The William & Mary field hockey team suffered a heartbreaking, last-second 2-1 loss to Northeastern on Friday night at Busch Field. Despite senior Pippin Saunders giving W&M a 1-0 lead early in the second half on her team-leading ninth goal of the season, the Huskies rallied and won it on Kristin Abreu's penalty stroke with just 10 seconds remaining. W&M fell to 5-8 and 1-2 in CAA play, while Northeastern improved to 4-9 and 1-1 in league action.

After a scoreless first half, W&M wasted little time getting on the board just 1:23 into the second frame. Junior Amanda McAteer took a hard shot from an angle along the right side of the area. The attempt ricocheted off the post back into the field of play, and Saunders jumped on the rebound in the center of the circle, scoring into the left boards for her 34th career goal.

Northeastern found the equalizer at the 44:31 mark as Mia Martin, playing in just her third game of the year, scored her first collegiate goal. June Curry-Lindahl created the chance, breaking free through the midfield and drove to the end line. She centered a pass to the penalty spot, where a wide-open Martin scored into the right boards.

Senior goalkeeper Meredith Savage came up with saves in the 47th and 51st minutes to keep the match tied. On the offensive end, W&M tallied six shots over the final 25 minutes and produced five of its six penalty corners. Senior Peyton Smith tallied a pair of shots off those corners, but each time NU goalkeeper Becky Garner was up to the task with a stop.

In the closing seconds, Northeastern's Abbey MacLellan broke free cutting to the center of the field from the left sideline. She carried into the area with space, and Savage came off her line to eliminate the chance. MacLellan touched around the Tribe goalkeeper to the right and shot back toward the cage. The attempt caught the elbow of a W&M defender on the goal line resulting in the stroke. Abreu converted her second penalty stroke chance of the season for her fourth goal to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead with just 10 seconds to play.

Saunders attempted to create a chance in the final seconds, driving into the area, but pleads from the Tribe faithful for a penalty corner went unanswered and the match ended at 2-1. For the game, W&M outshot Northeastern, 18-12, including a 12-5 cushion in the second half. The Green and Gold also generated six penalty corners, all in the second half, compared to four for NU. Garner stopped nine shots in cage for the Huskies, while Savage recorded four saves. Senior Maddy Moore also picked up a defensive save for the Tribe.

Despite the scoreless opening 35 minutes, both teams had a number of quality looks. In the seventh minute, the Tribe had a sequence of four shots, but could not find the scoring column. Saunders' first shot from the middle of the circle was stopped by Garner. The Husky goalkeeper also denied junior Maria Jose Pastor’s shot off a rebound and a diving chance from sophomore Emma MacLeod.

In the 15th and 16th minutes, Northeastern had a pair of chances, but couldn’t find the mark. Off the Huskies second penalty corner of the half, they worked the ball to Curry-Lindahl on the left side of the circle, but Savage came off her line to stymy the opportunity. A minute later, it was Curry-Lindahl again, but her break chance went just wide of the right post. In the 26th minute, Moore came up with a defensive save for the Green and Gold stopping another Curry-Lindahl scoring chance.

The Tribe returns to action with its final two road matches next weekend in Philadelphia. The Green and Gold travels to CAA foe Drexel on Friday, Oct. 16, for a 6 p.m. match, before facing St. Joseph’s at noon on Sunday, Oct. 18.