Cardinals Withstand Lightning Delay, Advance to Seventh Straight Championship Game

 

WASHINGTON - The Catholic University women's lacrosse team endured a two hour weather delay to advance to the program's seventh straight Landmark Championship game with a 18-10 win over Scranton in the semifinals at Cardinal Stadium.

Lindsay Brophy led the Cardinals with five points on three goals and two assists, while Clair Schmitzer and Jenna Van Middelem each added four goals. Madeline Wilson was the fourth Catholic player to record a hat trick with three goals and an assist.

Van Middelem struck first for the Cardinals at 25:39 on an unassisted goal. Kerry Sullivan answered back with her first of five goals to tie things up at 1-1.

Brophy found the back of the net on a free position shot to take back the lead but the Royals scored back to back goals to take their first and only lead of the game with 18:16 to play.

Nicole Laitner set up Van Middelem and Wilson teamed up with Brophy to push the score to 4-3 in favor of the home team. Sullivan scored twice around a Van Middelem free position shot for the game's final tie at 5-5 with 8:40 left on the clock.

Schmitzer kicked off a 4-0 Catholic run to end the first half as Caroline DiBartolomeo scored twice and Wilson added another score for a 9-5 halftime lead.

The Cardinals outscored the Royals 3-1 to open the second half on goals from Brophy, Madeline Nowakowski and Schmitzer for a 12-6 lead with 22:35 to play just as lightning struck within the area forcing the teams inside for over two hours.

When the lightning finally cleared, the squads had just a few moments to warm up on the field, but the Cardinals picked up right where the left off as Van Middelem got past Emily Towey for her fourth goal of the game at 20:36.

After a Royals' goal at 20:13, Laura Dunn set up two straight goals for the Cardinals and helped push the lead to nine.

Scranton answered back with a free position shot to cut the deficit however Catholic received goals from Schmitzer and Laitner to get their largest lead of the game at 18-8.

The Royals scored two goals to finish the game as the Cardinals advanced to the Landmark Championship game with the 18-10 win.

For the game, the Cardinals outshot the Royals 38-20 and dominated in ground balls with a 34-to-21 advantage. Schmitzer collected a career-high nine ground balls to go with two caused turnovers.

Tori Neill had another huge game defensively, picking up five ground balls and causing four turnovers without comitting a single turnover herself. Adair Douglas also had four caused turnovers as the Royals were plagued by 30 miscues. Alexis Martin and Anastasia Brandenburg added two caused turnovers apiece.

Yasmeen Ajdari picked up six saves in between the pipes for the Cardinals and added four ground balls and a caused turnover in the win.

The Cardinals are 4-0 on the season when playing during inclement weather. CUA kicked off the season with a win at Frostburg St. in the snow and also defeated St. Mary's (Md.) and Mary Washington during heavy rainfall.

As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Cardinals will now host No. 2 Susquehanna on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the finals in a rematch of last season's championship game in which SU won 16-9. The Crusaders defeated No. 3 Drew 20-12 to advance to their third straight finals appearance. Earlier this season, Catholic went on the road to pick up a 22-11 win at Susquehanna.

-CUA-

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