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Fitchburg State Nips Westfield State, 14-13 (OT)

Fitchburg State Nips Westfield State, 14-13 (OT)

Falcons improve to 2-1 in NEWLA behind Burns' game-high seven points

WESTFIELD, Mass. (April 9, 2011) – Junior Amanda Burns (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) scored a game-high seven points, including the game-winning, overtime marker as the Fitchburg State women's lacrosse team defeated Westfield State University, 14-13 in NEWLA action this evening.

Burns scored with 3:51 remaining in the six-minute overtime stanza to give the Falcons a 13-12 lead; their first lead since 25:52 remaining in the second half. Freshman Avery Neusch (Windham, N.H./Salem) added a key insurance marker with 55 seconds remaining in the extra frame (14-12) as Westfield State's, Becca Keeley scored with eight seconds left on the clock.

It was a tale of two halves as Fitchburg State jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the opening nine minutes with Burns scoring three goals and sophomore Samantha Bonasera (Chelsea, Vt./Chelsea) tallying twice. The Falcons closed the half with four more scores to post a 9-4 lead at the break.

In the second half, Westfield State came roaring back, outscoring Fitchburg State 8-3 in the frame to force an overtime period. The Owls went on an 8-1 run to take a 12-10 lead with 14:40 remaining in regulation, but Fitchburg State kept Westfield off the board for more than 20 minutes to stay within striking distance. The Falcons capitalized on the Owls scoring drought, using scores from sophomore Jessica Bartlett (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) and senior Tessa Leahy (Cohasset, Mass./Cohasset) to knot the score at 14-14.

Burns led the Falcons offensive efforts with six goals and one assist, while Bartlett and Bonasera chipped in with two goals apiece. Freshman Dylana Drolette (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) earned the victory in net for Fitchburg State, totaling three saves over the 66 minute effort.

Westfield State held a slim 25-24 advantage in targets, but Fitchburg State totaled a 31-23 margin in groundballs. Junior Carissa Kennedy (Somerset, Mass./Bishop Stang) and senior Connie Perry (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) notched five ground balls apiece, while Burns and junior Kelly Finamore (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) tacked on three draw controls each.

Fitchburg State (6-1, 2-1 NEWLA) will be back in action on Monday as it hosts Mount Ida at 7 p.m. Westfield State (4-3, 1-2 NEWLA) will host Rhode Island College on Tuesday at 4 p.m.