Dragons on fire

Tiffin University needed a stop.

Goalkeeper Jessica Bombard made one.

Then the Dragons needed to score – fast.

Freshman Katelyn Hill provided it.

With Tiffin and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference rival Notre Dame College tied at 15 and less than a minute remaining in regulation, the Falcons’ Shannan Edwards’ shot was stopped by Bombard. After a foul on Notre Dame, Katelyn Hill got the ball and took off, connecting on a goal with 24 seconds left.

It was Hill’s third goal of the game.

“I was running it down, and I saw (the defenders) collapsing on me,” Hill said after the 16-15 win. “But there was a really small opening, and all I could here was everyone in the stands and everyone on my team yelling, ‘Go, Go!’

“I just kind of went for it,” she said.

It was a big win for Tiffin. In the lacrosse program’s four-year history, TU was 0-5 against the Falcons.

In the early going, it appeared a sixth-straight loss to them was in the offing. Notre Dame’s Katherine Doraty scored the game’s first goal about a minute in, and the Falcons ran off three more to take a 4-0 lead at the 24:10 mark.

Tiffin coach Erica Brown called timeout.

“You need to relax,” Brown said she told her team. “We’re kind of getting ahead of ourselves; we’re playing frantic lacrosse. It’s not the lacrosse I preach.”

After the timeout, the Dragons came right back. Emily Roussel led the way. She scored three straight goals to bring Tiffin within 4-3, then Alexis McMillan, Kalie Weinheimer and Hill added goals to give Tiffin a 6-4 lead.

The game then assumed a pattern. Tiffin would take a lead, then Notre Dame would come back to tie, then Tiffin would respond again.

But the Falcons never led after the opening minutes.

Tiffin senior Alexandria Quast, one of the country’s best players, said the Dragons are able to close.

“The girls on our team are able to finish,” she said. “Everyone else is able to do their part.”

They needed to do their part, because Quast was being face-guarded most of the game. Still, she was able to score three goals and dish out four assists. She also had two goals in the final minutes not count because of fouls.

“That’s the unfortunate part, especially for me,” she said. “I think they took three (goals) away at the end, and that was heartbreaking.”

Roussel finished with a team best five goals for the Dragons, who improved to 6-6, 4-0 in the GLIAC. It was TU’s fifth-straight win.

“We knew it was gonna be a challenging game,” Hill said. “We went into it just trying to come out on top.”

Tiffin may not have done that without Bombard, who had 13 saves, none bigger than the one in the final minute.

“Jess Bombard just came up huge,” Brown said. “All you need is that one save, and Jess Bombard came up with that one save for us.”

Doraty, Edwards and Kristen Hull each scored four goals for the Falcons, who dropped to 6-3, 2-2.

It was a physical game. Notre Dame player Audi King was down for several minutes in the second half. She was carried to the sideline, then stayed on the bench until an ambulance came to get her.