Women’s Lacrosse Suffers Heartbreaking 14-13 Overtime Loss to Saint Francis U

Women’s Lacrosse Suffers Heartbreaking 14-13 Overtime Loss to Saint Francis U

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's lacrosse team fell victim to a series of miraculous game-saving saves from Saint Francis U goalkeeper Ashley Stoessel in the waning seconds of regulation and again in overtime, before Morgan Day broke free from her defender and scored the game-winner 4:10 into the extra session to win it for the Red Flash. The Pioneers' 14-13 loss in overtime drops SHU to 2-12 overall (1-4 NEC) while SFU moves to 4-9 (1-4 NEC) on the season.

Cassie Cesario was the first to get into a prime scoring opportunity as her attempt from a few feet away from the cage with 12 seconds left in the second half was thwarted away by Stoessel. In the overtime period, SHU saw all three of their shots-on-goal saved by Stoessel, including two that came from free position attempts. SFU even managed to deny the Pioneers while the Red Flash were playing down a player as Katie Page was whistled for a. yellow card 43 seconds into the start of overtime. The incredible effort from Stoessel ruined a comeback effort that saw Werlau net an shorthanded goal with 2:47 left in regulation that tied the score at 13-13 and sent the game into overtime.

Werlau (four goals, two assists) and Hanna Wise (five goals, one assist) led the Pioneer offense on the day with six points each. Cesario added five points (three goals, two assists) while Sydney Ericson dished out three assists. Amy Cadle posted eight saves and allowed eight goals in her 47:53 minutes of action while Elizabeth Small turned in a great effort defensively with five caused turnovers, three ground balls and two draw controls on the day.

Saint Francis U 14 / Sacred Heart 13 (Overtime)

Sacred Heart (2-12, 1-4 NEC) / Saint Francis U (4-9, 1-4 NEC)

Campus Field / Fairfield, CT

First Half (6-6 Tied)

  • A back-and-forth first half saw the two sides trade goals for the opening six minutes before trading 3-0 runs as the score was tied at the half
  • After SFU pumped in the game's first goal just 54 seconds into the action, Wise responded with her first of the day
  • Kerri Metzler later scored her second goal of the season to make it 2-2 while Cesario netted a free position strike to tie the score again at 3-3
  • SFU continued their strong start, scoring three straight goals over a span of 4:14 in a run that included a shorthanded goal from Emileigh Scott as the Red Flash scored on each of their first six shots-on-goal in the game
  • Looking at a three-goal deficit, the Pioneers quickly responded with a 3-0 run of their own as Wise scored back-to-back goals before Werlau went for an unassisted tally to finish the scoring in the stanza
  • Shots (19-11) and ground balls (15-3) heavily favored the Pioneers but Stoessel was the key player for the Red Flash, posting nine of her 16 saves in the first half alone

Second Half (13-13 Tied)

  • SHU continued to hold down the SFU offense into the start of the second half and capitalized on the offense end with consecutive goals coming from Cesario and Werlau to make it 8-6 Pioneers
  • After not scoring for 24:32 straight minutes, SFU rattled off a 3-0 run to reclaim the lead at 9-8
  • Werlau and Cesario again got involved with consecutive goals less than one minute apart as the two sides continued to trade blows midway through the second half
  • With SHU later leading 12-11, a key moment followed as Ericson was whistled for a yellow card, which was the Pioneers' fifth yellow of the day and meant that Ericson's penalty was unreleasable  
  • With Ericson off, SFU took advantage with a goal that tied the score and later was gifted a golden opportunity as Anna Mesham was sent off with a yellow card, meaning SHU would be down two players for over a minute
  • After Cadle came up with a big stop with less than four minutes remaining, Livia Baker scored for SFU as the Red Flash took the lead and still were playing a player-up due to Mesham's yellow
  • On the ensuing draw control, Cesario came up with a big ground ball and later the ball cycled to Werlau who weaved through three saves of SFU defenders before depositing her fourth goal into the back to the net with 2:47 remaining and her team playing down a player
  • With the score now tied, SFU had a go-ahead shot attempt saved by Cadle with 1:18 remaining and the Pioneers' game-winning attempt from just feet away from the cage was saved off by Stoessel as the game was sent into overtime

Overtime (14-13 SFU)

  • SHU had a bevy of chances in overtime, with Wise winning the opening draw and immediately shooting upfield where she had a chance at goal but Stoessel again came up big with a save on Wise's shot that came at her feet
  • After forcing a SFU turnover on the break, the Red Flash's Katie Page was sent off with a yellow card and the Pioneers couldn't take advantage of the player-advantage as Cesario's free position shot attempt was saved again by Stoessel
  • SHU again won the draw control to start the second three-minute overtime session but once again Stoessel came up huge, denying Wise's free position shot attempt
  • Then on the ensuing Red Flash possession, Morgan Day drove in on a SHU defender, shook her off and fired home the game-winner


  • Werlau racked up six points (four goals, two assists), giving her at least six points in three of the last four games
  • Werlau's season point total now stands at 42 (35 goals, seven assists) as she currently holds the third-highest SHU freshman single-season point total in program history and is just three points away from setting the record
  • Needing just one goal to set the SHU freshman scoring record, Werlau easily bested that mark with four on the day as she passed the SHU rookie single-season scoring record of 32 previously held by Kelly Russo
  • Wise pumped in six points (five goals, one assist) and a season-high 10 shots (all on-target)
  • Wise's five goals sets a career-high for her highest single-game scoring total in an NEC contest while her assist on a Werlau goal was her first of the season
  • Cesario produced a tremendous all-around effort with five points (three goals, two assists) to go along with four ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers
  • Cesario has already established new single-season career-highs in points (36), goals (22) and assists (14) this season
  • Ericson's third three-assist game of the season gives her 16 assists in 2019 and 20 points for the season, both of which are single-season career-highs
  • Cadle did her best in the cage, posting a career-high eight saves in a career-best 47:53 minutes
  • As a team, SHU set new season-highs in assists (nine), points (22), ground balls (29), draw controls (15), shots (35) and shots on-goal (29)
  • Small was the key player on the defensive end for SHU as she compiled five caused turnovers, three ground balls and two draw controls
  • Small established a new single-season career-high in both caused turnovers (29) and ground balls (30) in today's game
  • Claire McElhenny was solid defensively as well as she contributed three ground balls, four draw controls and one caused turnover
  • Olivia Millard came off the bench to grab a career-high three draw controls while Danielle Heady added two (also a career-high)
  • Nicole Holder matched her career-high with four ground balls, posting her most in a game since her freshman season in 2017
  • This marks the third overtime loss in the 2019 season while the Pioneers drop their eighth consecutive game that extended into an overtime period
  • This was the Pioneers' final home game of the 2019 season as SHU finished the campaign with a 2-6 mark from Campus Field

The Pioneers finish up the season next weekend with games at Mount St. Mary's (Friday – 4 PM) and Wagner (Sunday – 1 PM).