ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Lindsay Grigg’s overtime goal gave No. 1 Rochester Institute of Technology a 2-1 victory over Plattsburgh State in the NCAA Women’s Division III semifinals at Ritter Arena. The Tigers advanced to their second consecutive national championship game and await the winner of the Gustavus Adolphus and Norwich semifinal.
Grigg’s game-winning goal was set up by a well-placed crossing pass from Ariane Yokoyama, 2:30 into overtime. Plattsburgh goalie Sydney Aveson turned toward the puck, but was too late to stop Grigg putting away the game.
“It was just a really good play by RIT,” said Aveson. “They got the girl backdoor and she tipped it in. There’s not much you can do.”
The game was the fourth between RIT and Plattsburgh this season, and the second in postseason play. RIT bested the Cardinals two weeks ago in the ECAC West Championship game to even the season series.
Plattsburgh was coming off an upset of Middlebury in the quarterfinal round and looking to advance to its first championship game since the Cardinals won back-to-back championships in 2007 and 2008.
The sole blemishes to the Tigers’ record came courtesy of the Cardinals, who beat RIT in Plattsburgh on January 14.
“Every game we play with them is a 2-1 game, so it wasn’t a surprise that this was an overtime game,” said RIT coach Scott McDonald.
RIT opened the scoring at 11:29 of the first period when Marissa Maugeri stuffed the rebound of an Ali Hills shot past Aveson. The Tigers controlled much of the first period, killing the only power play in the first.
After a scoreless second period, things heated up in the third period as the game become more physical. RIT was called for three penalties, including two for body checking.
Just over 12 minutes into the period, a puck sent into the net landed on the back of RIT goaltender Laura Chamberlain’s leg. A scrum in the crease knocked the net loose, and no goal was ruled in the ensuing confusion.
“I could feel [the puck] and really just hoped that it would get stuck in my pads,” said Chamberlain.
After a long delay to review the instant replay, the ruling was upheld, preserving the 1-0 RIT lead.
Plattsburgh kept on the attack, and was rewarded when Emma Rutherford scored the equalizer off a Jenny Kistner shot that bounced off Chamberlain’s pads with 4:55 to go in the third. The goal came during a delayed penalty, giving Plattsburgh a power play, and the momentum, with only minutes to go in the game.
The Cardinals were unable to capitalize and RIT proved resilient, dominating the brief overtime period and punching their ticket to another championship game on home ice. The Tigers are undefeated at Ritter Arena this season.
“We wanted a second chance; we wanted to be here,” said McDonald. “We earned our shot at a second chance, and we’re going to make the most of it.”