Cardinals comeback falls short against Hornets in overtime
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Down 2-0 to No. 11 Lynchburg after only four minutes of Wednesday's NCAA Tournament 1st Round game, CUA battled back twice to tie the score and force overtime, but the Hornets scored just 40 seconds into OT to come away with a 4-3 win. The Cardinals season comes to an end with a record of 12-8 after winning their second straight conference championship.
Following an exciting 70 minutes of regulation, the teams headed for overtime, but the Hornets quickly wrapped this one up, with Lindsay Leonard scoring off a feed from Ashley Nelson to send Lynchburg into the 2nd Round of the tournament.
CUA finished with a 21-12 advantage in shots, including a 13-4 lead in the second half, and the Cardinals were awarded 15 of the game's 18 penalty corners.
Junior Megan Comunale finished with five saves for the Cardinals, while Lynchburg's Hannah Myers came up with a number of big stops throughout the game, and finished with seven saves.
It took the Hornets all of 42 seconds to jump in front, receiving a goal from Katie Kline to go on top 1-0.
Three minutes later, Lynchburg struck again, with Kline finding the back of the cage again to put the Cards in an early 2-0 hole.
Five minutes in, Lynchburg was awarded a penalty corner, which led to a scrum in front of the net and ultimately resulted in the Hornets being awarded a penalty stroke. Comunale kept CUA in the game however, by stuffing the attempt by Melanie Tenney.
CUA's first shot came 10 minutes in, when Colleen Harwood ripped an attempt off a penalty corner that went just wide of the cage.
Another Cardinals penalty corner came at the 22:15 mark and resulted in a second CUA shot, but Lynchburg's defense kept the Cards out of the cage and the score remained 2-0.
The chances continued for CUA with back-to-back corners near the 18-minute mark, but Myers kept her team in front by two with a pair of saves.
With under 10 minutes to play before halftime, the Cardinals cut the lead in half when Hayley Wright tipped in a pass from Harwood to make it 2-1.
The Cardinals continued to control action for the remainder of the half and with only 31 seconds to play before intermission, Harwood knocked in a goal to tie things at two at the break.
Lynchburg retook the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Danielle Kreider ripped a shot into the back of the cage to make it 3-2.
Soon after, CUA was awarded two straight penalty corners, but the Cardinals could not get off a clean shot, and remained down by one.
Another penalty corner by CUA, this one coming at the 17:36 mark, led to a great redirect by Taylor Elliott, but her attempt just missed.
The penalty corners continued for CUA, with the Cardinals receiving one at the 12:14 mark. During the play, Lynchburg was whistled for a foul and CUA received a penalty stroke, which Maura Campbell put into the back of the cage to tie things at three.
With under 10 minutes to go, CUA was awarded yet another penalty corner, and after some nifty passing, Campbell unleashed a rocket towards the cage that Myers made a save on to keep things tied at three.
Soon after, the teams headed for overtime, where Leonard ended things with her goal.
Photography by Keith Lucas