Oregon women’s lacrosse takes advantage of an odd rule to defeat Canisius in overtime

Disappointment and sadness covered the lacrosse field as Canisius celebrated its game-winning goal in overtime over the Oregon women’s lacrosse team.

“I looked up to the sky and was like, ‘Oh my God, they defeated us,’” Oregon attacker Mariah Gatti said postgame.

Luckily for the Ducks, the disappointment was short-lived as the goal was negated thanks to a little-known rule where only the goal-scorer is allowed to drop her stick upon a goal in overtime.

“I saw [Canisius] score it top left and kind of hung the head and right when I looked back up I saw three sticks and knew they weren’t green,” Oregon head coach Katrina Dowd said. “So I was immediately communicating that there was too many sticks.”

After the disallowed goal, Gatti wanted to make sure they capitalized on Canisius’ mistake.

“They called it back and I was like, ‘This is our time,’” Gatti said. “It was meant to be. We were meant to win this game — I am so glad we got another chance.”

Gatti got that chance to end it after getting fouled by Nicole Nelson, leading to a free position attempt for the 5-foot-11-senior, senior which she promptly put into the back of the net.

“Something in me just told me I needed to rip it,” Gatti said. “There was no one at either of my sides so I knew I had the power to put it in the back of the net.”

The Oregon women’s lacrosse team won 12-11 in overtime, marking its first win in OT since 2013, thanks to Gatti’s fifth goal of the game after Canisius had its own game-winning goal disallowed.

Despite this being the team’s third game in Oregon, they played at a third different venue with this one held at the UO student recreation fields for the first time in order to attract more student attendance and more buzz around the sport.

“It was cool seeing people walking by and looking,” Williams said. “A lot of people here don’t know what lacrosse is, so even just getting them aware of that we are playing; that we have this sport. It’s awesome.”

The game bounced back-and-forth, starting from the opening goal by one of Canisius’ triplets, Miranda Malvaso.

Oregon trailed 6-2 at one point but went on a run that was highlighted by the play of the first half, when Jill Zubillaga intercepted a Canisius pass at midfield and found Williams, who hit the back of the net and brought the score to 6-5.

The game ultimately went to overtime where Gatti was given the chance to put it away. After it was confirmed that no Duck besides Gatti dropped a stick, the game was officially won.

“Everyone had a tight grip on it,” Williams said with a smile.

“That’s a tough way for Canisius to lose the game,” Dowd said. “It’s a tough rule but it is part of the rulebook. … Sometimes you get lucky.”

Luck was indeed on their side as some players were not even aware of the rule.

“Honestly, I am glad they scored first, cause if we scored, we might have all dropped our sticks too and rushed the field like they did,” Gatti said.

Oregon’s next game will be its first outside the state of Oregon, traveling across the country to Maryland, where 11 current players are from, to take on Towson on March 3 at 12 p.m.

Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack

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Maverick Pallack

Maverick Pallack

Maverick is an associate sports editor and reporter covering football, baseball, softball, track and field, women's tennis and men's tennis. You can follow him on Twitter @mavpallack or contact him at [email protected]