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Bombers capture first Liberty League title in overtime thriller

From+left%2C+senior+midfielder+Molly+Davis+attempts+to+slow+down+driving+sophomore+attacker+Lily+Cody.+The+Bombers+captured+their+first+Liberty+League+championship+in+the+11%E2%80%9310+victory.
Emma Kersting
From left, senior midfielder Molly Davis attempts to slow down driving sophomore attacker Lily Cody. The Bombers captured their first Liberty League championship in the 11–10 victory.

Despite the rain, it was a phenomenal day at Higgins Stadium as the Ithaca College women’s lacrosse team successfully completed its revenge tour and won its first Liberty League Championship against No. 7 William Smith in an 11–10 overtime win. 

From the beginning, this matchup was one that was going to be tough, aggressive and ultimately go to the team that wanted it more. In the regular season, the Bombers defeated the Herons 16–3, but the Herons made sure this game would not be another cakewalk for the Bombers. 

In the first quarter, the Herons’ defense gave it their all in blocking out senior attacker Maizy Veitch and sophomore midfielder Lily Cody. Cody and Veitch were not able to get shots off until  senior attacker Chloe Nordyke scored the first goal for the Bombers. Veitch was able to score the Bombers’ second goal of the quarter to make it 2–0 after

It was not until the last four minutes of the quarter that the Herons scored their first two goals of the game, ending the quarter in a 2–2 deadlock.

The second quarter started off fast for the Bombers as Sydney Phillips, captain and senior midfielder, scored her first goal of the game within the first 20 seconds of the quarter. Shortly after, sophomore attacker Leigh Naturale scored, bringing the Bombers to a 4–2 lead. 

This quarter was truly dominated by the Bombers as Cody scored her first goal of the game to make it 5–2 and Phillips followed by scoring her second as a free possession shot. Green and yellow cards were flying everywhere as junior midfielder Liz Green received a yellow card, and Caroline Wise, captain and senior midfielder, received a green and a yellow card. 

However, Wise was a vital player for the Bombers as her defense kept the Herons out of the shooting zone. The Herons were able to score two more goals toward the end of the half, but ultimately the Bombers headed into the half in control 6–4.

There must have been some encouraging halftime talk because for quarter three, the Herons came out far more intense. The Herons were able to scored four more goals this quarter — with one of them being within in the last 20 seconds. of the quarter.

The third quarter ended in an 8–8 tie as the Bombers also scored another two goals. Within the first four seconds of the quarter, senior midfielder Lexi Kellish scored her first goal of the game in a free possession attempt. Along with Kellish’s goal, Phillips’ scored her third goal of the game. 

In the fourth quarter both teams fought until the very last second. The Herons scored the first goal of the quarter, allowing them a lead in the game for the first time during the duration of the matchup. The Herons then scored another goal, bringing them to a 10–8 lead. The Bombers were tired, but not tired enough to give up their championship aspirations. 

With two minutes left in the game, Phillips scored her fourth goal, bringing the Bombers closer to victory. The score was now a 10–9 lead for the Herons with the Bombers nipping at their heels. 

The time got down to 27 seconds when the Bombers got their last shot to stay alive. Veitch threw the ball to Cody and Cody ripped one into the net to tie the game and send the thriller into overtime.

Junior midfielder Juliana Esposito and a teammate embrace after one of 11 Bombers’ goals. (Emma Kersting)

Just under a minute into the threeminute overtime period, Phillips aimed and fired the golden goal into the net. The Bombers emerged victorious with their first ever Liberty League title.

Phillips said she knew that the game was winnable and that nothing could compare to the winning moment. 

“I knew that if we worked really, really hard we could pull it out,” Phillips said. “Honestly I just happened to be the one to put the ball in the net. It could have been any single one of us, we worked really, really hard and it’s just the most amazing feeling. This is the best day ever.”

Head coach, Karrie Moore, also shared her excitement for today’s historic moment for Bombers’ lacrosse and said how pleased she was with the team’s fight. 

“I’m just so proud of our team,” Moore said. “I thought we played really composed, we hit a lot of posts, the ball didn’t go in the way we wanted to a lot of the time but we stayed composed and stayed confident and we just kept playing. I think lacrosse is such a fun game when you win like that at the end and I’m just really proud of these seniors. They just decided this is what they wanted to do and they made it happen. Our seniors won this.” 

The Bombers are now headed to the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Tournament with a conference bid. The team’s next game will be announced at 10:30 a.m. May 6.

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Emma Kersting
Emma Kersting, Podcast Editor
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