SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Senior attack Brittini Jones took a pass from Aubrie Lauderdale with 1:33 remaining in the fourth overtime period and ripped it past the keeper and the Converse (1-0) lacrosse team opened the 2018 season with a 10-9 win over Columbia (2-1) on Tuesday evening at Fulp Field.
Jones led the Valkyries with five goals on the day while Maria Knott chipped in two scores of her own. Sharlize Burgos tallied five groundballs and Kat Goldfuss picked up five draw controls for the Purple and Gold.
Columbia's Tiffany Tortorello got the scoring started as she beat the Valkyries goalie just over two minutes into the contest, but Knott connected on her first of two scores three minutes later to even the contest at 1-1. Jones gave Converse its first lead at the 22:56 mark of the first half before Morgan Solesbee once again evened the contest with 15 minutes remaining.
After another Jones goal, Columbia tallied two scores in a row to retake the lead, 4-3, with less than a minute to play before halftime. However, Knott was issued a free position with nine ticks left and capitalized, scoring her second goal to send the teams to the locker room tied at 4-all.
The Valkyries came out on fire in the second half, posting the first five goals to take a commanding 9-4 lead. During the run four different players recorded a goal for the Vals. Ashlei Alston got the scoring started with an unassisted goal less than a minute into the half. Jones followed that up with her third score before Goldfuss notched her first goal of the young season to give the Valkyries a 7-4 lead with 21:56 to play.
Burgos and Jones went back-to-back with goals two minutes apart, giving the home team the 9-4 lead. However, Columbia did not give in, ripping off five consecutive goals of its own to tie the game at 9-9 with five and a half minutes remaining in regulation.
Both teams had scoring chances in the closing minutes but neither could push across the go-ahead goal and the game went to overtime. The first three overtime periods were quiet and uneventful, but the fourth period proved to be most important as Jones was set up for the game-winner after a caused turnover deep in Columbia's territory.
Tiffany Tortorello led the Koalas with four goals while Morgan Solesbee chipped in three in the losing effort. Caitlyn Johnson (1-0) earned the win in goal for Converse, playing all 56 minutes in between the pipes, collecting six saves. Diamond Brown (2-1) suffered the loss after allowing 10 goals and tallying eight saves.
Converse will be back in action on Thursday, February 15 as it travels to Salisbury, N.C. to face the Indians of Catawba College. The contest is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.