HIRAM, Ohio - In a matchup that featured 33 goals, it was one critical stop that proved the difference in the Hiram women's lacrosse team's 17-16 win over Muskingum.
With the outcome of the game still in the balance and under a minute to play, senior Alyse Gillentine came up with her second caused turnover of the game, stopping the Muskies final chance at the tying score to give the Terriers the win.
The first half was a game of runs through the first 30 minutes. The Fighting Muskies came out of the gates strong, scoring the first three tallies of the game while holding Hiram scoreless through the opening ten minutes.
Gillentine not only made her mark defensively, but also provided the first offensive spark for Hiram, scoring the Terriers first goal of the game.
The senior then came back exactly two minutes later to pull the Terriers within a goal, posting her sixth of the year.
Hall beat the defense for her second goal of the season to knot the game at 3-3. Ray then scored back-to-back tallies just 14 seconds apart to push the Hiram lead to 5-3.
On Ray's second goal, the Terriers' leading scorer grabbed her own draw, and took it the length of the field to put the Muskie keeper for her 14th of the year.
Muskingum responded with four-straight goals of their own, including a pair of tallies from Ashley Adams, and a short handed-marker from Kayleigh Norvet, to retake a 7-5 lead with 51 seconds to play.
Ray would respond with just seconds left in the half. After beating Muskingum defenders to the end line to help Hiram retain possession, Ray brought the ball in and beat the defense with six seconds left to pull the game to 7-6.
The scoring run would continue for the Terriers in the opening minutes of the second. Following another goal from Gillentine, Katelyn Slomovitz tallied her first score of the game to give Hiram an 8-7 advantage.
Sophomore Alexis Hirsch would then score back-to-back tallies. The first coming on an unassisted goal, with the second finding the back of the net off an assist from Ray. Hirsch's second tally gave Hiram a 10-7 advantage.
Undeterred, the Muskies put together another run of their own, stringing together three markers to once again knot the game 10-10 with under 20 to play.
Hiram would once again respond with a solid scoring run, led by freshman Giana Palmieri, who untied the game with her second-career goal at the 19:21 mark.
From there, three other Terriers would contribute to the run, including unassisted goals by Ray, Slomovitz and Hirsch. Thanks to the four-minute swing, Hiram found themselves once again leading 14-10.
The Muskies would chip into the lead yet again, cutting the advantage down to 14-12 before Ray tallied two of the next three goals to keep Hiram in the lead, 16-13.
Slomovitz tallied the Terriers final goal of the night, once again extending the Hiram lead to three (17-14), before Muskingum attempted the comeback.
After scoring a pair of goals, the Muskies retained possession off of the draw with under 40 seconds remaining in regulation. On Kaeleigh Norvet's drive to the cage, however, Gillentine came up with the takeaway, and the Terriers were able to hold off the Muskies for the win.
Offensively, Ray led the way with six tallies and seven total points. Gillentine, Hirsch and Slomovitz all tallied three goals on the season, while Hall and Palmieri finished with one.
Ray and Gillentine also added an assist on the night, as did sophomore Tia Smith, who posted her first-career point.
Defensively, the Terriers posted 12 caused turnovers, led by four from Hall. Ray, Gillentine and Smith all added two, each.
Hiram will be back in action on Monday, March 5 as they travel to North Carolina Wesleyan. The matchup during the team's spring-break trip is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.