Pearce scores three, including the game winner in overtime, as SSPG knocks off NDP in IAAM playoffs

Trailing 8-4 with 10 minutes to play, St. Paul’s School for Girls staged a stirring fourth quarter rally, Monday at Notre Dame Prep’s Love Field, and ousted the defending champion Blazers, 9-8 in overtime, in the IAAM A Conference lacrosse quarterfinals.

Caroline Pearce scored three goals, including the game-winner in overtime to lead the Gators. Annie Ponsi also turned in a clutch performance, scoring twice including the game-tying goal with just nine seconds left in regulation, while Alex Pirisino had a game-high four goals and assisted on Ponsi’s score late in the final seconds of the second half.

The first half was a back and forth battle with three ties and four lead changes, as NDP went to intermission with a 4-3 lead. The Blazers seemed on their way to taking control when Nancy Halleron and Charlotte Boote each scored to push their lead to 6-3. SPSG got one back, but Liza Regan scored NDP’s goal and then assisted Julia Franzoni on the eighth as the Blazer lead grew to 8-4 with 10 minutes to play.

Halleron finished with two goals for NDP, while Ellie Curry and Syndi Rosa joined Regan with one goal and one assist each. Addie Fischer Boote and Franzoni had one goal each.

St. Paul’s now advances Wednesday’s semifinals. The Gators will travel to Ellicott City to battle second-seeded Glenelg Country. In the other semifinal, top-seeded McDonogh, which rolled past Bryn Mawr, 18-6, will host fourth-seeded Archbishop Spalding, which eliminated Roland Park Country, 10-6.