BOSTON, Mass. -- Simmons Field Hockey scored with 15 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime against the visiting Castleton State College Spartans Saturday afternoon in North Atlantic Conference action. Rachel Preusser scored the only goal necessary in the extra stanza to lift the Spartans to a 5-4 victory.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game when Mary Neidhardt (Middlefield, Conn.) collected a rebound off a shot by Amy Wilson (Falmouth, Mass.) and lifted the ball over Spartans goalkeeper Jessica Galatioto.
Castleton had their first quality chance at 10:48 into the half when Blake Wardwell sent a cross ball to Preusser, splitting the Sharks defense. Simmons goalkeeper Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) came out of the net to make the save on the breakaway. Three minutes later, Castleton scored the equalizer when Kristy Pinkham beat Rastello low left side off an assist from Stephanie Bardell.
With less than ten minutes to play, the Sharks took the lead again after a flurry in front of the Spartans net. Senior Seneca Martensson (East Longmeadow, Mass.) fired a shot off a corner from Amy Cronin (Georgetown, Mass.) but Spartans defender Stacy Sullivan was there for the defensive save. But junior Kelly Williamson (Natick, Mass.) buried the rebound for a 2-1 Sharks lead into halftime.
Six minutes into the second half, the Sharks increased their lead to two, as Jenna Gagnon (Waterville, Maine) crushed a ball straight through the circle for a 3-1 lead. But Castleton began to chip away, as Pinkham scored her second goal of the game and Preusser found the back of the net off a pass from Brynn Cayia to tie it up at three. With eight minutes to play, Castleton scored the go ahead off a corner as Shawna Pinsonault slipped a Preusser rebound past Rastello.
With one minute to play, the Sharks defense cleared the ball from their defensive end and forced a corner with 20 seconds to play. Cronin inserted the ball to Martensson for a shot and first year Gabrielle Henderson (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) was there for the rebound to force overtime, tied 4-4.
Rastello made two breakaway saves in overtime on Preusser and Blake Wardwell before the Sharks had their best chance off a two on one but Galatioto was there for the save. Haley Spittle then collected a ball in midfield and sent a cross to Preusser for the game-winner.
Castleton held a 39-18 advantage in shots and a 14-11 advantage in corners. Rastello recorded 22 saves in the loss, while Galatioto made 13 for the win.