Aztec sophomore Harlowe Steele nets game-winner in extra period
Photo: Harlowe Steele courtesy goaztecs.com
March 15, 2017 (San Diego) - Sophomore Harlowe Steele scored the game-winning goal with just over a minute elapsed in overtime to give San Diego State a dramatic 12-11 victroy over visiting New Hampshire Wednesday in a non-conference matchup at Aztec Lacrosse Field.
SDSU (5-2) twice rallied from two-goal deficits to extend its winning streak to five games, while the Wildcats (0-8) came up empty for the eighth straight outing this year.
In a contest that featured seven ties and five lead changes, the Aztecs found themselves trailing 11-9 after UNH fashioned a 4-0 run during a span of 9:26 in the second half. However, SDSU senior Kristen Hickey found the back of the net on a free position shot with 12:03 remaining, while freshman Taylor Sullivan scored off an assist by senior Kayla Deitz at the 5:23 mark to even the score at 11-11.
The Aztecs had a chance to win in regulation, but senior Vickie Porter’s shot with 27 seconds left was just wide. Moments later, SDSU snuffed out the Wildcats last threat when junior Mackenzie Lech caused a turnover on UNH’s Amy LeBel with just eight seconds on the clock, setting the stage for Steele’s heroics in overtime.
Deitz led the Aztecs with three goals on the afternoon, including a pair of strikes 27 seconds apart early in the first half that gave the host school a 2-1 advantage. The Wildcats responded with two tallies by Carly Wooters sandwiched around a free position goal by SDSU’s Sullivan to level the game at 3-3 by the 17:18 mark of the period.
UNH outscored the Aztecs 3-1 over the next 5:46, with Marissa Gurello, Wooters and Teagan Northrup supplying goals to put the visitors in front 6-4. However, SDSU flashed its resiliency with three straight markers as Deitz completed her hat trick, while freshmen Meg Morgan and Morgan Taylor bookended the run with their first collegiate goals to help the Scarlet and Black reclaim a 7-6 advantage.
The Aztecs appeared to be headed into intermission with the lead, but the Wildcats knotted the game on Devon Croke’s goal with seven ticks left on the clock.
Unfazed, SDSU went back to work in the second half, as senior Ijeoma Ikpe and sophomore Natalie Peel hit pay dirt with a pair of goals to put the hosts up 9-7 by the 23:12 mark. However, UNH seized the momentum at this juncture with four straight tallies, including two by Krissy Schafer, before the Aztecs fought themselves off the ropes with their aforementioned late rally.
In addition to Deitz’s production, Steele and Sullivan finished with two goals apiece, while sophomore Jill Haight posted a career-high seven draw controls. The Aztecs also received a stellar effort from senior goalkeeper Katie Merritt, who came off the bench to post eight saves, including seven in the second half, while Lech finished with three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Despite getting outshot 31-27, SDSU maintained a 22-20 edge in shots on goal, while maintaining a 15-9 advantage in draw controls.
San Diego State continues its busy month on Saturday, March 18, when Ivy League member Columbia pays a visit to Aztec Lacrosse Field. Game time is set for 3 p.m. PT.