The Pequannock girls lacrosse team battled back to tie the game with seconds left in regulation but fell in overtime 16-15 to Cranford on Friday.
With 39.9 seconds left in regulation and the Panthers down 14-11, junior midfielder Erin Campbell scored to get within 14-12. Junior midfielder Danielle Musto then scored with 24.7 seconds left to pull Pequannock within one, 14-13, and with 8.4 seconds remaining Musto scored to tie the game 14-14.
Pequannock then won the ensuing draw control but the clock ran out as the Panthers (2-3) tried to get a shot off.
Senior midfielder Alyssa Tachon scored with 3:33 left in overtime to give Pequannock the 15-14 lead, but two goals in the final 2:32 from Cranford’s Megan Power handed the victory to the Cougars (4-1).
“We worked very hard for the ground balls, we played extremely hard, I know the kids played with a lot of heart, but too many mental mistakes unfortunately caught up to us,” Pequannock coach Lindsay Lafferman said. “They worked hard, they came back really nice at the end of the first and in the second half. We made just bad decisions towards the end in the overtime.”
Pequannock jumped out to an early 4-1 lead with 18:58 left in the first half and led 6-2 less than four minutes later, but Cranford managed to get back in the game and got within 6-5 on a goal by Power with 11:56 to go. From there the Panthers outscored the Cougars 3-2 to take a 9-7 lead at the half.
Cranford opened the scoring to start the second half to get within one, 9-8, but another goal from Tachon put the Panthers up 10-8 with 18:37 left. The Cougars then scored three-straight goals over a six-minute span to take their first lead of the game, 11-10, with 10:34 to go.
Kassaleh scored her second goal of the game to tie it up 11-11 with 6:24 left, but Cranford scored three quick goals in under a minute to take a 14-11 lead with 5:29 remaining.
The Panthers did a nice job of defending sisters Hannah and Sarah Ross — Cranford’s sophomore scoring duo — in the first half, holding Sarah Ross to three goals and two assists and Hannah Ross to two assists. In the second half it was a different story as Hannah exploded for five goals and Sarah chipped in one goal and one assist.
“They’ve done pretty well in the scorebook and they’ve had some good games it seems and I know that they had some strong players, so we expected it to be a tough game and it was exactly that,” Lafferman said. “We were doing well with the draws, we had the lead and then we just had some mental breakdowns and they got a few goals on us. We made too many mental mistakes today.”
Cranford 16, Pequannock 15 OT
GOALS: (P) Tachon 7, Musto 4, Kassaleh 2, Presti, Campbell; (C) H. Ross 5, Power 5, S. Ross 4, Allen, Padden; ASSISTS: (P) Tachon, Musto; (C) S. Ross 3, Power 2, H. Ross 2; SAVES: (P) Bringard 8; (C) Miller 14; SHOTS: (P) 26; (C) 33.