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O'Connell and Puszcz Score Goals in Overtime to Stun Vermont, 14-13
Release Date: 03/04/2013
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EUGENE, Ore. - For the second straight game, freshman Carly O'Connell delivered in the game's waning moments for the Oregon Ducks.

This time, it came in the second half of the first overtime period.

With the Ducks trailing Vermont, 13-12, O'Connell rebounded a shot by Kate Cathell that hit the post and rifled it into the goal to send the game into sudden victory.

The teams played to a draw through the first three minutes of the golden-goal period.  But finally, with 1:47 on the clock, junior Nikki Puszcz drew a foul on Vermont's Vanessa VanderZalm to set up a free-position attempt angled off to the left of the net.  Puszcz capitalized on the opportunity by sending a shot past goalie Charlotte Lyons to secure a dramatic 14-13 triple-overtime win for Oregon.

The Ducks are now 3-1 overall and 1-1 in overtime games.  Vermont falls to 2-2.

In a game that featured 10 ties and six lead changes, the visiting Catamounts scored the first two goals of the match and carried a 7-6 lead into the break.  Devon Frazer and senior Cathell each scored two goals for the Ducks in the first.

Oregon, which led by no more than one goal the entire night, gave up a goal to Vermont's Marcie Marino to start the second half but rattled off the next two thanks to goals by O'Connell and Frazer.  Then, with the game knotted at nine, the Ducks were able to take their first lead of the game since the 4:43 mark of the first half when Puszcz scored her second goal of the game with 22:02 remaining.

The match continued with its back-and-forth theme, and with the score tied at 11, senior Bridget Morrison, a defender, forced a Lyons turnover, scooped up the ground ball, and floated a 35-yard shot into the net to give the Ducks a 12-11 advantage.  For Morrison, the goal was the second of her career and first since her freshman campaign in 2010.

But the resilient Catamounts refused to go away.  With 7:02 to go, Sydney Mas scored her fifth goal of the game to tie it up, 12-12.

The 12-12 score held over the final seven minutes and the game went into overtime.

In the first half of the overtime period, Jessica Roach scored for the Catamounts to give her team a one-goal edge.

Vermont won both draw controls of the overtime's first half and Oregon went into the second trailing, 13-12.

O'Connell won the opening draw control for the Ducks to give them possession.  On its first attempt to score, Frazer missed a shot high but Shannon Propst scooped up the ground ball to give O'Connell an opportunity from five yards out.  O'Connell fired a shot but it was saved by Lyons.

After a Vermont clear, Roach fired a shot that was saved by Oregon's Salliebeth Finnegan with 45 seconds remaining.  The Ducks would call a timeout to set up one final play.

Out of the timeout, O'Connell sent a shot wide of the net with 21 seconds remaining but the shot was backed up by Propst to keep the ball with Oregon.  This set the stage for O'Connell, who rebounded the shot from Cathell and then scored with seven seconds to play.

After a scoreless first sudden-victory period, Puszcz capitalized on the free-position shot to win it in the second.

The Ducks out-shot the Catamounts, 37-25, but lost the draw control battle, 17-15.  Oregon committed 15 turnovers to Vermont's 16 and Finnegan finished the game with five saves.  Oregon grabbed 16 ground balls as a team.

Puszcz, Cathell and Frazer each recorded a hat-trick and Propst led the way with two assists.  Morrison and Finnegan each scooped up four ground balls to lead the Ducks, O'Connell finished with a team-high five draw controls and Puszcz caused three Vermont turnovers.

Oregon will have four days off before returning to the field on Friday night at home against Davidson.  Match time is slated for 5 p.m. 

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