BOXFORD — Amy Arnold scored five goals for Masconomet, but none of them were bigger than her last which came in sudden victory overtime to give the Lady Chieftains a hard fought 13-12 win over Ipswich.
Both teams came into the contest unbeaten and after a 40-minute lightning delay, they battled for 50 minutes of regulation, two 3-minute overtime halves, and came into the 3-minute sudden victory overtime period locked up at 12-12. It was the eighth time the score had been tied.
Ipswich senior goalie Cass Balzer made two great saves to keep the game tied, robbing Rachel Rogal in the first minute of OT and then stopping Kathleen Gillespie (3 goals, 1 assist) after a foul was called on the Tigers.
Great defense by Masco's Zoe Cennami and Rogal created a turnover that led to the winning score. Rogal passed to Arnold, who raced in on Balzer and fired a low shot into the back of the net to end it.
"What a great game," said Masco coach Al McCarthy. "I told the girls they needed to control the ball before overtime began. They kept their heads high and stayed patient. Our midfielders can run all day, and we have speed at the wings. I thought our pressure in transition was very good and caused turnovers. So many players did a great job to help us win."
Masconomet is now 4-0, and while Arnold led the attack getting the game winner in overtime is nothing new for her.
"My freshman year I got the game winner against Pentucket in overtime," said the junior midfielder. "I'm used to the pressure on me. Zoe and Rachel did a great job getting the ball. Once I caught it I just kept thinking I have to get this shot on.
"They have such a good goalie, and she had just made a couple of big saves. I thought 'I'll try to put it through her legs.' That turned out to be a good spot. It is such an incredible feeling to be a vital part of an exciting game like this."
Ipswich (2-1) had forced overtime by tying it up at 10 all with 4:38 remaining when Natalie Soliozy, who was the playmaker with six assists, set up Lauren Piotrowski. Masco had been up 10-8, but the Tigers answered with a pair of goals in the final five minutes to knot it up once again. Brigid O'Flynn scored her third of the game (5 goals, 1 assist) when she alertly pounced on a loose ball in front of the net and beat goalie Lili Miller.
O'Flynn notched her fourth in the first half of overtime after a foul was called on Masco to put her team ahead, 11-10. The Chieftains quickly answered back on goals by Gillespie and Cennami for an 12-11 lead with just two seconds left in the half. But once again it was O'Flynn, who scored with 22 seconds remaining to force the sudden victory overtime.
"This was an amazing game," said Ipswich coach Greg Churchill. "It's one of the best lacrosse games I have ever seen. We've been in overtimes before, but never sudden victory with this group. Masconomet is a very good team, not one to be underrated. They have a bunch of really strong girls, and they pressure the ball aggressively.
"When you come to Masco you have to bring it for the entire game no matter how long it goes. We can build on this; we played very well, and I'm proud of the effort. We have a lot of young kids on this team, and while they did a really good job I think the excitement of this game may have had an affect on the outcome. I hate to lose, but this was a very well played game by both teams."
Balzer had 16 saves for Ipswich, and Miller had 13 for Masconomet. Rebecca Phillips scored two goals for the Chieftains while Isobelle Ives and Hannah Brazel, each had one. For the Tigers Molly Markos had a pair, and Bryn Golesworthy and Nyra Constant each had one.