WASHINGTON - Victoria Neill celebrated her birthday yesterday and gave her team a pretty nice present, scoring her first goal of the season with 45 seconds left to lead Catholic to a 14-13 comeback victory over Mary Washington on a cold, rainy afternoon in Cardinal Stadium.
Catholic improves to 4-2 on the season, while the Eagles drop to 5-2. The Cardinals were led by Lindsay Brophy's three goals offensively, while Yasmeen Ajdari made 13 saves in goal and scooped up a game-high seven grounds balls.
After a Mary Washington offsides penalty, Caroline DiBartolomeo ran the ball the entire length of the field and beat Kelly Dean in the bottom right corner for a 2-1 lead at the 25:23 mark. The Eagles answered back with two goals of their own to take their first lead of the game at 3-2.
Similar to her first goal, DiBartolomeo took advantage of a UMW turnover from a dangerous shot yellow card. The junior ran through the midfield and found Jenna Van Middelem who scored for the game's fifth tie at 5-5 with just over 10 minutes to play.
The Eagles scored two of the next three goals to take a 7-6 lead at halftime. Playing through heavy rain, the teams combined for 33 first half turnovers. Jenna Petrucelli led the Eagles with four goals in the first period.
The squads traded goals once more to start the second half, giving UMW an 8-7 lead at 24:43. The Cardinals scored for the eighth tie of the afternoon but the goal was called off after a stick check. From that moment, the Eagles rattled off three unanswered goals for the biggest lead of the game, 11-7.
Quiet up to that point, Brophy drove to cage and found the back of the net for her first of three straight goals for the Cardinals with 13:43 left on the clock. She sparked a 7-2 run helping erase the four-goal deficit.
Madeline Nowakowski scored to cut the lead to one at 7:35, however UMW answered 54 seconds later to push the lead to 13-11 in favor of the visitors.
With time winding down, Nowakowski scored again to pull within one at 1:37 left in the game. Brophy won the ensuring draw control and found Stumme who was fouled inside the 8-meter crease. Stumme stepped up to the free position attempt and connected for a 13-13 game just 14 seconds after Nowakowski's goal.
Petrucelli won the next faceoff for UMW then turned it over. Miranda Altringer picked up the groundball giving the Cardinals posession again. Dean made a huge save for the Eagles with 47 seconds left in the game.
Dean's attempt to clear the ball was intercepted by Neill who immediately shot it back on frame for the game-winning goal.
With 45 ticks left, the Eagles secured the draw control and charged into Cardinal territory. With the ball in her stick and five goals already under her belt, Petrucelli ripped a shot but was denied by Ajdari.
UMW regained posession but was unable to get off another shot and the Cardinals held on for the 14-13 win.
For the game, Catholic held a 33-32 shot advantage and an 18-11 lead in caused turnovers. Mary Washington had a slight 33-29 advantage on groundballs.
Catholic returns to action on Saturday, March 22, hitting the road for a 1:00 p.m. start time at Washington & Lee.