#8 Stonehill Rallies Past #13 Dowling, 12-11

Junior Heather Sullivan scored three second half goals, including the Skyhawks last two goals to lift Stonehill to victory in the closing minutes. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Sullivan nets three goals, including gamewinner with 5:35 to play as Skyhawks overcome

LaxMagazine.com: "Offense Leads, Freshman on 'D' Key Stonehill's Important Dowling Win"

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (March 7, 2012) – Stonehill College, ranked eighth in this week's Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division II poll, opened its 2012 season with a come from behind 12-11 victory over 13th-ranked Dowling College in a non-conference women's lacrosse matchup at Golden Lions Field tonight.

Junior Heather Sullivan (Andover, Mass./Andover) scored three goals, including the gamewinner with 5:35 remaining in regulation. She also netted the tying goal three minutes prior as Stonehill rallied from an early four goal deficit, which remained at halftime, before outscoring Dowling 9-4 in the second half to claim the win.

Junior All-American Kelsey Reilly (Hingham, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) also scored three goals Stonehill, while senior All-American Samantha Lynott (Holbrook, N.Y./East Sachem) added two goals and an assist. Senior All-American Sarah Galligan (West Newbury, Mass./Pentucket Regional) contributed two goals, while junior Kayla Green (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) chipped in a goal and assist.

Senior Brooke Witkowski (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) led Dowling with two goals and three assists. Freshman Jackie Anderson (Shirley, N.Y./William Floyd) scored three goals for the Golden Lions, while senior Shannon Asquino (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) and sophomore Samantha Stavich (Albertson, N.Y./Mineola) each netted two goals. Sophomore Ashley Kupres (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Connetquot) chipped in with a goal and assist.

Junior All-American Kelsey Reilly also netted three second half goals to help fuel the rally. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Junior All-American Rebecca Moore (Marlborough, Mass./St. Mark's School) and freshman Ashley Armstrong (Northborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) split the goaltending duties for Stonehill. Armstrong picked up the win in her collegiate debut as she made six saves and conceded just four goals in the second half after Moore posted six stops in the opening 30 minutes. Junior Tina Fey (Kings Park, N.Y./Kings Park) played all 60 minutes in the cage for Dowling and finished with 11 saves.

Dowling raced out to a four goal lead less than nine minutes into the game behind a goal and two assists from Witkowski. Four different Golden Lions scored during the opening stretch, with Witkowski opening the scoring 1:25 in and then setting up markers from Stavish and Kupres to cap the opening surge.

Stonehill netted the next two goals, with freshman Cassandra McGill's (Westborough, Mass./Westborough) first collegiate goal opening the Skyhawks scoring before Galligan scored on a free position shot. The teams traded goals before Dowling potted the final two goals of the half, with Stavish set up by Witkowski with 1:40 remaining before Asquino capped the scoring in the half with just three seconds left.

Reilly sparked Stonehill's second half comeback with her first goal of the night just 21-seconds in, before Sullivan added her first 3:41 into the frame. Dowling pulled a goal back, before Reilly netted two straight markers to pull Stonehill back within a goal (8-7) with 22:54 on the clock. The teams again traded goals before Dowling regained a two goal cushion (11-9) with Asquino's fifth goal of the year with 10:10 to play.

Lynott kick started Stonehill's gamewinning rally with a free-position goal with 9:24 remaining before Sullivan equalized, assisted by sophomore Mary Lee Mahony (Yardley, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie), less than a minute later with 8:34 to play. Sullivan capped the comeback with the deciding goal off a feed from Lynott with 5:35 left. Armstrong did the rest as the Skyhawks survived a pair of free position chances without allowing a shot and the freshman goaltender made two saves over the final five minutes, the final one coming with just 23-seconds left, to seal the victory.

Stonehill (1-0, 0-0 NE-10), who opens its season with three games against teams ranked in this week's IWLCA poll, is back in action next Thursday, March 15, when it faces No. 14 Pfeiffer University in Winter Park, Fla., at noon. The Skyhawks home opener is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21, when it hosts Saint Anselm College for the first NE-10 matchup of the spring at 4 p.m. Dowling (0-2, 0-0 ECC) hosts Lindenwood University on Sunday at 1 p.m.