LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Kathryn Avanzato (Lake Grove, N.Y./Sachem North) capped off a career day as she scored her eighth goal 1:43 into overtime of Saturday's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Women's Lacrosse Tournament semifinal to give Philadelphia University a 16-15 victory over Dominican College at Georgian Court University.
With the victory, Philadelphia—the defending CACC championship and winner of two of the last three titles—improves to 10-7 overall and advances to the CACC Tournament final on Sunday, April 30 to take on host school and top seed Georgian Court. The Lions advanced to the final with a 17-10 win over Chestnut Hill in the other semifinal.
Avanzato notched the game-winning goal just 10 seconds after Dominican's Amber June was sent off the field with a yellow card. Alyssa Matthews (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) was awarded a free-position shot, but instead chose to back out and set up a play. The ball ended up in the stick of Isabella DiGnazio (Pittsburgh, Pa./Peters Twp.) about eight feet from the Charger net. DiGnazio found a wide-open Avanzato, who did the rest as she beat Cara Moran inside the right post to send the Rams back to the final.
The Rams had to overcome a pair of second-half deficits just to send the game to the extra period.
Trailing 14-11 after Jenna Fox scored her second goal of the day with 11 minutes left, Philadelphia ran off three straight goals in a 3:04 span to tie the score. Laura Dunne (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) got the run started at the 10:56 mark as she found the back of the net for the second time in the match. Samantha Ryder's (Perkasie, Pa./Pennridge) lone goal of the day came just over a minute later to draw the Rams within out. Avanzato converted a free-position shot even the score at 14 with 7:52 to play.
Dominican regained the lead with 2:20 left in the match after a failed clear by Philadelphia led to Haliann Fitzgerald's fourth goal and made the score 15-14. The Chargers won the ensuing draw control, but the Philadelphia defense forced Fox to turn the ball over with 1:22 left. DiGnazio would cash in on the miscue just over 30 seconds later as she took a feed from Dunne—who finished with six points (two goals, four assists)—and buried her shot inside the left post to send the match to overtime.
In the first half, back-to-back Avanzato goals gave Philadelphia a 7-4 advantage. The Chargers (8-6) answered back with three straight goals—two from Alayna Halligan to even the score. The teams traded goals in the final 48 seconds to go to the half tied at eight.
Dominican broke an 11-al tie with three straight goals.
DiGnazio ended the match with two goals, one assist, four draw controls, and three ground balls. Courtney Shaw (Langhorne, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie) dished out four assists to go along with six draw controls, four caused turnovers, and three ground balls. Matthews added one goal and two assists.
Shayne Gallagher had three goals and two assists for the Chargers, while Heegan completed the game with three goals.
Philadelphia's Victoria Raimondi (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) stopped seven shots in the victory. Moran made 15 saves and picked up five ground balls in the Charger net. The Rams owned a 42-31 shot advantage.