Cardinals Down Profs in NCAA
CUA advances to regional final on Sunday
SALISBURY, Md. - The #15 Catholic University women's lacrosse team (16-4) made it exciting Saturday in a 17-15 victory over the #20 Rowan University Profs in the NCAA regional semifinal. After trailing early, the Cards used a pair of runs to get back in the game. With the Profs threatening to tie it up and take the lead throughout the second half, the CUA defense led by Christina Rogers (Monmouth Beach, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) and Melissa Brashear (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic) managed to hold them off for the win.
In a slow first ten minutes the Profs scored twice as the Cards could get nothing going offensively, defensively or on the draw. Laura Haring (Mt. Sinai, N.Y./Mt. Sinai) scored at 20:33 to put CUA on the board but that was followed by a three-goal frenzy by the Profs making it 5-1. Lindsey Davenport (Delran, N.J./Delran) tallied one at 16:36 and Haring notched her second of the game but that was followed by two more from Rowan as CUA just couldn't gain ground.
Going into the final ten minutes of the half, the Cardinals were playing sloppy and couldn't control the momentum of the game. That all changed, however, at 7:44 when Kate Robinson (Emmitsburg, Md./Catoctin) sparked an 8-0 run hitting the first three herself all within a thirty second span. Marcy Cuneo (Haddonfield, N.J./Camden Catholic) added one and Lauren Sheils (Hanover, Md./Archbishop Spalding) capped off the half with a score at 2:19 making it 8-7 in CUA's favor at the break despite two yellow cards forcing the Cards to play down.
The Cardinals came out fired up for the second half and rattled off three more goals in the first five minutes with a pair of scores coming from Cuneo. After the big run to go ahead, CUA looked to be in the driver's seat but Rowan still had something left as they came back with a three-goal rally of their own. Midway through the half it was 11-10, CUA and would prove to be a dogfight the rest of the way.
Robinson put CUA up by two at 17:04 but a minute later the Profs took the lead back to one. At 15:07, Katie Bitonti (North Potomac, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) connected on a free position shot but once again Rowan had an answer with two goals knotting it at 13. Cuneo's free position and another score from Bitonti made it 15-13 with seven minutes left but Rowan pulled within one after a tough shot past Brashear. With momentum moving back into Rowan's favor as they fought back, Robinson silenced the crowd with a free position goal at 2:35 making the score 16-14. Rowan scored right before the two minute mark but with time ticking away the Cards still led. At 1:30 Davenport put the nail in the coffin as the made a move and shoveled in a low goal giving the Cards the 17-15 lead and eventual victory.
Robinson had a game-high five goals while Cuneo added four in the contest. The Cardinals out shot Rowan 31-28 and tied them with 20 ground balls. After a tough first half, CUA came out with two more draw controls and had four fewer turnovers. Rogers led the defense with four caused turnovers and Brashear took the win in goal notching eight saves, many coming late.
The Cardinals now advance to the regional finals against the #1 Salisbury Sea Gulls on Sunday at 1 p.m. Earlier this season, the two squads met and Salisbury won 21-8.