WALTHAM, Mass. – Freshman Sally James (Mequon, Wisc./University School of Milwaukee) scored her second goal of the game off a perfectly-executed penalty corner after time expired to give Bentley University, the third-ranked team in the NCAA Division II North Region, a wild 4-3 win over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference field hockey Thursday night at Bentley.
Bentley, which scored two of its four goals with no time on the game clock, extended its winning streak to six and moved into a tie for second in the NE-10. A win at Southern Connecticut State Saturday in the regular season finale would give the Falcons (10-6, 7-2 NE-10) the second seed, and a first-round bye, in next week's conference playoffs.
Just before the second-half clock hit zero, Bentley was awarded its 16th penalty corner of the evening. Following a time out by coach Jessica Spencer, freshman Meghan Talerman (Centerville/ Barnstable HS) took the hit and sent it out to sophomore Gina Lirange (Auburn/Auburn HS). Lirange, from the circle, moved it to junior Melissa Martorelli (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel HS) left of the cage, which drew the goalie in that direction. Martorelli redirected the ball to James, left open in front, for the tap-in, capping the Bentley comeback.
The Falcons, who led 2-1 at the half, fell behind when the Hawks (6-12, 3-7) scored twice in the first 7:16 of the second. Freshman Canada Stewart (Lynnfield) netted the equalizer 3:44 into the second, and senior Maura Hurley (Holden) was successful on a penalty stroke three-and-a-half minutes later to give the lead back to the visitors.
It remained 3-2 until Lirange tallied her seventh of the year with 9:13 left to play, scoring on a third opportunity after a pair of saves by Hawk keeper Megan Sullivan (Braintree).
Saint Anselm claimed the game's first lead when junior Eliza Jalbert (Providence, R.I.) scored in the ninth minute. James answered for Bentley a little less than eight minutes later.
As would be the case at the end of the second half, Bentley was awarded a penalty corner just before the first-half clock ran out. That led to two more penalty corners being called, and the third time proved to be the charm as freshman Michaela Clark (Sauquoit, N.Y./Sauquoit Valley HS) redirected Martorelli's pass for her first career goal.
Bentley had the big edge statistically, with 25 shots and 16 corners as compared to nine and six for Saint Anselm. Senior Julia Powell (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug HS) made three saves in the win, and Sullivan finished with 13.
Saturday's game at Southern Connecticut State is a 2 pm start.