St. Louis, MO – It was a long night for the Illinois Tech women's lacrosse team as they were slightly edged 11-10 in double overtime by the Griffins of Fontbonne University. The Hawks had the upper hand for most of the game as they held the lead for 38 of the 60 regulation minutes. However, a goal scored by Paige Pfankuch with 2:37 left in the second overtime would be the decider.
After just over 7 scoreless minutes to start the game, the Griffins got on the board to take the 1-0 lead. Mariah Kuitse would answer two minutes later with her first of three goals on the day. After another FBU goal, the Hawks responded with two more of their own just :16 seconds apart. Chelsea Badiola would knot it up at 2-2 with her team-leading 7th goal of the season and Florencia Carrerou followed that up with her 6th on the season at the 18:35 mark in the first half. From there, Illinois Tech would retain the lead until there were just ten minutes left in regulation.
After tying the game at 8-8, Fontbonne went on to take a two-goal lead with just 3:50 left in the game. Just when it looked glum for the Hawks, Carrerou added her second goal of the game on a free-position shot with just 1:04 remaining to bring the Hawks within one.
With time ticking away, Tech needed an equalizer. They got just that when Badiola was able to transition from midfield and dodge four defenders before putting it behind Griffins goalie Kelly Mundwiller with just 15.9 seconds on the clock, sending the game to overtime.
In what was their first overtime experience for the first-year program, the Hawks seemed to run out of steam and were not able to produce another goal to counter Fontbonne's goal in 2OT.
In addition to Kuitse's three goals and Carrerou and Badiola's two each, Catherine Cusack, Breanne Stromberg, and Alex Miller each tallied a goal in the effort. Taylor Thompson made 14 saves in the cage for the Hawks.
"We dominated the majority of the game but didn't have enough gas in the tank to hold them off. I'm proud of the intensity and the heart they showed tonight. We have been working on draws and transitions for a few weeks now and it is really starting to pay off," explained head coach Kirk Lamitie. "We took a big step in the right direction and I look forward to Saturday to see what we bring to the table against St. Mary's."
Following the game at St. Mary's on Saturday, the Hawks will finish up their road campaign at Beloit College on Wednesday and then return home for their Senior game on April 13th against Concordia University-Wisconsin.