“Playoffs, we’re talking about playoffs?” You bet.
IUP lacrosse clinched its spot in the PSAC tournament and barely kept its winning streak alive with an overtime win against Seton Hill, 14-13.
Coming into Wednesday’s game, Seton Hill and IUP were both battling for position in the upper part of the PSAC standings. Seton Hill had the same conference record as the Crimson Hawks and was also riding a wave of momentum. After having a rough start to the season, the Griffins won six of their last seven games.
IUP scored the first three goals of the game and took an early lead. Two of the three goals came from Ally Burrows (senior, biology).
The Crimson Hawk defense built off the offensive success and held Seton Hill scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game. At that point, the Griffins fought to get the momentum back on their side.
Seton Hill scored two goals in 83 seconds to cut the lead to one. Unwilling to let the Griffins back in the game, IUP quickly shut down the Seton Hill offense and got its own up and running.
Over the next 16 minutes, the Crimson Hawks scored three unanswered goals and extended their lead to four goals. However, IUP let down its guard and attempted to coast to halftime as Seton Hill worked its way back in the game. In the last five minutes, the Griffins outscored IUP 4-1 and brought the game within one after a goal with three seconds left in the half.
The Crimson Hawks went into the half up 7-6.
With the momentum in favor of Seton Hill, they outscored IUP 5-1 in the first 12 minutes of the second half, giving the Griffins their first lead of the game.
Now down by three, the Crimson Hawks saw the game slipping from them and immediately jumped into action. IUP bounced back, scoring five unanswered goals in less than 10 minutes to regain a two-goal lead.
With slightly under four minutes remaining, Seton Hill started its last-ditch effort. With 3:52 left in the game, the Griffins scored and brought the lead within one. Following that, the IUP defense was unable to keep Seton Hill from tying it up as the Griffins scored again with 12 seconds left in the game to send it into overtime.
Fired up from letting the lead slip away in regulation, IUP quickly got to work in overtime. After controlling the opening draw, it took the Crimson Hawks only a little over a minute before Burrows scored the game-winning goal.
“The biggest factor for our team when it comes to the offensive success is executing the game plan and rising to the occasion based off our motions,” Mollie Gallagher (senior, early childhood development and special education) said. “Working for one another is our goal. Communicating is key and what keeps us together as a unit.
“When someone falls, we pick one another up. Fighting for every ground ball, causing turn overs and getting the ball to our attack to score.”
IUP will now return home for its final regular season game and Senior Day. The Crimson Hawks will take on the the top PSAC team in No. 7-ranked West Chester at 1 p.m. Saturday at Miller Stadium.