Navy's Aimee Gennaro scored the game-winning overtime goal in a 10-9 victory over Oregon on Saturday.
May 5, 2012
From Navy Athletic Communications
Eugene, Ore. - Sophomore Aimee Gennaro's shot struck the crossbar and bounced down over the goal line with four seconds remaining in the first segment of overtime as the No. 18 Navy women's lacrosse team defeated Oregon, 10-9, in an NCAA Play-In Game at Pape Field on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Patriot League champion Navy (18-2) earns a third straight automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Navy will learn its first round opponent on Sunday during the NCAA Selection Show on NCAA.com at 9:00 PM (ET).
"I'm very proud and happy for the Navy women's lacrosse team to come out here and win in a very hard-fought, evenly-matched game," said head coach Cindy Timchal, who is advancing to her 24th NCAA Tournament. "We knew Oregon was going to be tough and we knew we would have to come out strong. It was just a classic women's lacrosse match."
Oregon, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion, used a 5-0 run to lead Navy, 9-7, with nine minutes to go in the second half. Junior attacker Kathy Young then scored on a free-position goal with eight minutes to go to pull Navy within one. Oregon ended up with the ball and junior defender Brijet Mall caused a turnover to get the ball back in Navy's hands.
Junior attacker Jasmine DePompeo then scored her fourth goal of the day on a great spin dodge move to tie the game at 9-9 with just under five minutes to go. Oregon got the ensuing draw control but junior goalie Michelle Verbeeck made one of her 11 saves to stop the threat as the game moved to overtime, Navy's first overtime contest of the season.
"Coach always stressed that we need to be ready to play '60 minutes or more' and we were ready for it," DePompeo said. "We saw it as a 0-0 game and we just went out there hard and took it like it was a brand new game."
Women's lacrosse overtimes are six minutes long but are split into two three-minute periods with the teams changing ends after three minutes. Oregon got the opening draw of the first segment of overtime and ran the clock down, but senior team captain Kierstin King caused a turnover with 45 seconds remaining before the overtime intermission.
Navy then brought the ball downfield as the clock was winding down and after moving the ball around, Gennaro ended up with the ball with less than 10 seconds to go. Gennaro drove at the net and ripped her shot on goal to give Navy the lead with just four seconds to go.
"I have faith in every one of those girls on the field and I know they have faith in me," Gennaro said. "I figured there would be nothing left to lose with just four seconds left on the clock. I just turned and shot and hoped it would go in, and lucky for me, it did."
Oregon got the first draw of the second segment of overtime and once again ran some time off the clock. Oregon had its best scoring opportunity with a free-position attempt, but Verbeeck stood tall by making yet another save to help ensure victory for the Mids.
Navy used a fast start in the game, scoring just 33 seconds in on a strike from freshman Jess Fellows. DePompeo added a goal five minutes later and freshman attacker Loren Generi scored one minute later. Gennaro's first of three goals in the game came at 20:20 as Navy pushed the lead 4-0.
The Ducks proved why they went undefeated in conference play by scoring the game's next four goals to draw even at 4-4 with nine minutes to go.
Neither team scored for the next nine minutes, until Gennaro scored off a feed from DePompeo with 30 seconds left in the half as the Mids carried a 5-4 lead into halftime.
Navy came out firing in the second half, as Generi controlled the opening draw and DePompeo scored just seven seconds into the period, tying teammate Danielle Vivonetto's NCAA record for fastest-goal to start a period.
DePompeo then scored again just 19 seconds later to cap off a 3-0 run that saws Navy take a 7-4 lead. However, that's when Oregon used a 5-0 run, finished off by back-to-back goals from Shannon Propst to take the 9-7 edge that Navy eventually fought back from.
Verbeeck moved to 8-0 on the season in the cage with her 11 saves.
DePompeo's four goals and one assist marked the 19th five-point game of her career and she became the second Midshipmen to surpass the 200-point mark (203). DePompeo is the two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and leads Navy with 86 points (41 goals, 45 assists).
Young's free-position goal allowed her to become Navy's all-time free-position goal leader for a single season (18) and career (37). Young had four draw controls and two ground balls.
Junior midfielder Beth Young had a great all-around game with five ground balls, three draw controls and a caused turnover.
Generi had a game-high five draw controls in the game and her school single-season record was extended to 117, which is the second-best mark in NCAA history. Generi has also scored in all 20 games this season.
Navy led in shots 24-21, and continued its streak of leading in draw controls in every game this season at 12-11. Ground balls were even at 11-11.
Three different players scored two goals apiece for Oregon and goalie Carolina Federighi made 13 saves. Oregon was called for six yellow cards on the day.
Navy is now 3-0 all-time in NCAA Play-In Games and the Mids are the first Patriot League school to win a postseason game on the road. Patriot League teams are a perfect 5-0 in the NCAA Play-In game. Navy's 18 wins this season are a new program and League record.