Placek's game-winner lifts Camels past Bears in OT

Melissa Placek (ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Melissa Placek (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell scored five unanswered goals to rally from an 11-7 deficit and claim a 12-11 victory over Mercer in overtime. Melissa Placek scored the game-winner 49 seconds into the extra frame off an assist from Kayla Reilly.

Sarah Paul started the Camels' comeback with a free position goal at the 6:11 mark of the second half. Paul struck again with an unassisted goal two and a half minutes later before Placek drew Campbell (3-4) within one of the lead (11-10) with 2:20 left to play.

Reilly scored the equalizer with 1:26 remaining as the game sat tied for the first time since midway through the first half. Paul won the ensuing draw control and the Camels looked to score the game-winner in regulation. However, Michela Lucas forced a turnover with 17 seconds on the clock and the Bears (5-2) ran out the clock.

Placek won the draw to open overtime and the Camels set up in the offensive zone. Katie Matz took the first shot of the extra period but it went high and out of bounds. Campbell kept possession and Reilly received the ball behind the cage. She sent a pass across the goal to Placek, who fired the game-winner into the lower right side of the goal.

Placek led the Camels with four goals and a game-high six draw controls. Paul found the back of the cage three times while Reilly registered six points on a goal and a game-high six assists. Tina Ricci scored twice and assisted on a goal.

Paul and Ricci scored back-to-back goals in the final five minutes of the first half to draw Campbell within 5-4 of the Bears' lead at halftime. Mercer opened the second half with three-straight scores to take an 8-4 advantage.

The Camels scored three of the next four goals and trailed 9-7 with 14:56 left to play. Mercer struck for back-to-back goals to take an 11-7 lead with 8:19 showing on the clock.

Lindsey Zeltwanger and Meghan Segreti each tallied five points for the Bears. Zeltwanger scored four goals while Segreti assisted on four scores. Kate Leone found the back of the cage three times.

Merredith Bechler earned the win in goal with seven saves while Haleigh Wurzel took the loss despite 10 stops. Overall, Mercer out-shot the Campbell 30-26 while the Camels held a narrow 13-12 advantage on the draw.

The Camels will have a quick turnaround and return to action Sunday at home against Richmond. First draw is set for 2:00 p.m.