Cards Knock Off Captains, Advance to NCAA Regional Finals
WASHINGTON- A brief rain delay could not cool off the red-hot #17 CUA women's lacrosse team Wednesday afternoon, as the squad soared to a 19-9 victory over Christopher Newport University in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Cards improve their overall record to 13-6 on the year, while CNU finishes the season 13-7.
Mary Swarthout led the squad with a team-high of five goals to go along with two assists, one ground ball, and one caused turnover. The sophomore was recently named Landmark Conference Player of the Year.
Meg Brady and Kate Narzikul also had strong performances, netting four and three goals, respectively. Narzikul also added a team-best four ground balls, three caused turnovers, and one assist.
The Cardinal defense once again staged an outstanding performance, totaling 13 caused turnovers on the night. Swarthout, Becky Borrell, and Katie Buonpastore each tallied a pair of CTs in the win, while goaltender Melissa Brashear stopped ten shots between the posts.
Brady, Narzikul, and Swarthout were a triple threat from the very beginning of the game, notching the first three goals to give Catholic an early advantage. CNU's Natalie Gilbert and Kaitlin Quigley responded by scoring twice to bring the Captains within one at the 19 minute mark. The Cardinals then hit their offensive stridem finding the back of the net six consecutive times within a four minute span. After trading goals in the final ten minutes, CUA's Kate Narzikul helped extend the lead to 13-4 by firing in two shots before the halftime buzzer sounded.
The Captains staged a short-lived comeback at the beginning of the second stanza, as Quigley scored two of the first three goals less than five minutes in. Catholic quickly quelled CNU's excitement by outscoring their opponent 5-3 for the remainder of the contest. Quigley chipped in a final goal for the Captains with two minutes remaining, but the damage had already been done, as CUA ran away with a decisive 19-9 win.
CNU was led by Quigley, who tallied five goals and one ground ball in the loss. Meghan Harkey also added two, to go along with one assist and one ground ball.
The Cardinals will now travel to second-ranked Salisbury University on Saturday, May 15, for an 11:30 a.m., contest.