WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Sophomore Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) scored the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in regulation as Wellesley College lacrosse earned an 8-7 victory over visiting Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday afternoon at the Wellesley Outdoor Fields Complex.
Wellesley finishes the regular season with an 8-4 overall record and a 5-3 record in conference. Wheaton moves to 9-7 on the season and also finishes the NEWMAC regular season with a 5-3 record.
Wheaton opened the scoring at 28:34 of the first when junior Jenna Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.) notched her 29th goal of the season. Tewksbury finished the contest with a team-high two goals, also picking up a ground ball and adding three draw controls.
Wellesley tied the score at 1-1 at 12:54 when Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) put away a shot after a pass across the goalmouth from first year Jenny Gubner (Pleasanton, Calif.). Lemay scored a pair of goals in the contest for the Blue, while Gubner added two goals and two assists to finish with a game-high four points.
Ava Myette (Brattleboro, Vt.) put Wheaton back ahead less than a minute later, potting her seventh goal of the year at 21:20. However, Lemay countered with her second marker at 18:57, scoring on an assist from senior Claire Canty (East Rockaway, N.Y.) to tie the score at 2-2.
Wellesley then closed out the half with a pair of goals, the first coming from Sharkin on a free position shot at 15:43 before the Blue held on to possession for a long stretch of the opening stanza. Gubner then scored at 2:32, on another assist from Canty, as Wellesley took a 4-2 advantage into halftime.
Wellesley stretched its advantage to 5-2 five minutes into the second half when Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored her 12th goal of the season.
Wheaton knocked the Blue lead back to two at 20:24, with Tewksbury netting her second of the game, before Wellesley countered with a pair of goals to take their biggest advantage of the afternoon, at 7-3. Gubner put away a free position shot at 19:47 for her second strike of the game before Courtney Peterson followed with her second marker of the second half at 18:19.
Faced with their largest deficit of the game, Wheaton rallied to score four answered goals and tie the contest at 7-all with 8:07 remaining in regulation. Four different goal scorers helped lead the Wheaton charge, as Katie Peters (Medway, Mass.) notched her 20th of the year at 14:44 before Brooke Sabol (Landgrove, Vt.) scored just over thirty seconds later on a free position shot to cut the deficit to 7-5.
Allie Bush (Kennebunk, Maine) then used an assist from Tewksbury to score her 22nd goal of the season at 11:36, drawing the Lyons back to within one for the first time since the midway point of the opening half. Kelsie Jenquine (Brunswick, Maine) completed the rally with a free position goal at 8:07.
Both teams had their chances in the final eight minutes, but sophomore goalkeeper Wendy Nettleton (LaJolla, Calif.) helped Wellesley hold off consistent pressure in the final five minutes before taking advantage of a late turnover. Nettleton finished with 10 saves to improve to 8-4 on the year. Wheaton senior Katy Ananian (Belmont, Mass.) made four saves in the contest, dropping to 9-6.
With Wellesley able to clear the zone after a wide shot that sat on the back of the cage was picked up by Nettleton, the Blue worked the ball around before Gubner was able to find Sharkin in front of the cage with just 15 seconds left to play. The Blue sophomore then put away the game-winner for her team-leading 34th goal of the season.
Both Wellesley and Wheaton will now await the results of today's other NEWMAC games before finding out their opponents in the 2015 NEWMAC Championship Tournament.