Storm Wins Thriller in OT

Julia Kudla
Julia Kudla

PERRY, Ohio – Lake Erie freshman attacker Julia Kudla (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton) scored in each of two overtime periods to lift the Storm past Indiana Tech, 22-20, in a nonconference game at Alumni Stadium on Saturday (May 1) afternoon. It was Lake Erie's final home game of the season.
 
Kudla scored eight times for the Storm and also added a team-high three assists. She is two points shy of freshman midfielder Meredith Howe (Fayetteville, N.Y./Jamesville Dewilt) for the team-lead in points with 58 on the season.
 
The Storm (6-6, 1-4 ECC) fell behind early in the game, 6-1, the lone goal coming off the stick of freshman attacker Allison Trombetti (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy) that tied the game at 1-1. Kudla had the assist on the play, which came in a man-up opportunity after a yellow card by the Warriors' Chelsea Olsen.
 
After falling behind by five, Lake Erie ripped off seven of the next eight goals to take an 8-7 lead with 7:22 left in the first half. Freshman attacker Kim Dang (Atlanta, Ga./Jackson) assisted on two goals and scored once in that stretch. Freshman midfielder Brittany Rabuano (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) and junior midfielder Caitlin Malay (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bethel Park/Waynesburg) each scored their first goals of the game in that stretch as well.
 
Howe's first goal of the game – a free position shot – with 1:13 left to play in the half tied the score at 9-9 heading into halftime.
 
Howe and Kudla combined to score the first three goals coming out of the intermission as the Storm took a 12-9 lead.
 
The Warriors eventually drew even at 15-15, but the Storm went on another run to take a 19-16 advantage. At that point, Indiana Tech rallied to score four goals – the last two by Nicole Johnson – to hold a 20-19 advantage with one minute to play.
 
But Howe was able to force a turnover off an intercepted pass from Indiana Tech goalkeeper Ashley Thomas and she notched her fourth goal of the game with 38 seconds left to knot the score.
 
The Storm was able to take advantage of Warrior fouls as Kudla broke the tie with free-position goals in each overtime to make the difference in the game. Storm goalkeeper Brittanie Johnson (Hilliard, Ohio/Darby) also came up with three clutch saves in the overtime period.
 
The Storm scored on 10 of its 16 free-position shots in the game, including a 9-for-10 mark in the second half and overtimes. Indiana Tech did not help its cause by committing 46 fouls, compared to just 27 for the Storm. The Warriors were called for eight fouls in the overtime periods alone.
 
In addition to Kudla's eight goals and three assists, Howe had four goals, Malay and Rabuano scored three times, Dang had two goals and two assists and Trombetti tallied two markers. Freshman attacker Melanie O'Donnell (Mentor, Ohio/Villa Angela-St. Joseph) also recorded her first assist of the season.
 
Brittanie Johnson was very good in net, stopping 18 shots overall. Freshman defender Nicole Crist (Aston, Pa./Sun Valley) led the Storm with five ground balls while Dang had seven draw controls. Kudla and Howe had six draw controls apiece.
 
Lake Erie also took advantage of man-up opportunities, cashing in four times on six Warrior yellow cards.

Nicole Johnson had nine goals for the Warriors and Paige Kauffman added four. Thomas stopped 16 shots in goal.
 
The Storm will have a full week off before returning to the pitch for its final two matches on the road. The Storm will suit up against conference foes St. Thomas Aquinas and Molloy on May 8 and May 9.