Cardinals cruise past Scranton on Senior Day to clinch top spot

WASHINGTON – CUA clinched the top spot in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament on Saturday with a convincing 17-8 win over Scranton inside Cardinal Stadium.  Kate Robinson scored six goals on Senior Day, while Mary Swarthout added five in helping the Cardinals win their fourth straight game and finish the regular season unbeaten in conference play.

Goals by Lindsay Davenport and Swarthout in the opening seven minutes gave CUA an early 2-0 lead in this one, but Scranton came back to tie things with two straight goals of its own midway through the first half.

Robinson, Christina Rogers and Kelly Ryan answered with back-to-back-to-back scores for CUA and the Cardinals went in front 5-2 with 7:55 remaining before halftime.

Following Scranton's third goal of the day, Robinson found the back of the net with 25 ticks left before halftime to send the Cardinals into intermission leading 6-3.

Davenport netted her second goal of the day just 53 seconds into the second half but the Royals countered with a score by Jilliana DePaolera to remain within striking distance.

From there CUA broke the game open with a 5-0 run highlighted by three scores from Swarthout.  Robinson and Mallory Vogel also scored and with 15:32 left in the game the Cardinals were comfortably ahead, 12-4.

Kaitlin Lazorko finally put an end to CUA's scoring run with her goal with 14:22 to play, but three straight Cardinal goals put the margin at ten, 15-5 with 12:38 on the clock.  Swarthout scored once and Robinson twice during the run to extend the lead to double digits.

Robinson and Katie Buonpastore then added goals for CUA down the stretch and the Cardinals cruised to their third number-one seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament in the last four years.

CUA held a 42-19 advantage in shots on Saturday and a 22-13 lead in ground balls.  Swarthout scooped up a team-high five GBs, while Becky Borrell picked up three.  Borrell also caused four turnovers, as did Swarthout, and Davenport led CUA in draw controls with four.  Gabby Sena played the first 53 minutes and stopped eight shots in goal, before Yasmeen Aldari went the final seven minutes and made one save.

Scranton goal keeper Kathleen Smart was busy all day long, sending back 16 CUA shots, while DePaolera and Leslie Connelly led the Royals with three ground balls each. 

On Wednesday CUA begins its quest for a fourth straight Landmark Conference championship when the top-seeded Cardinals play host to No. 4 Goucher inside Cardinal Stadium.  The opening draw is set for 4 p.m.  Should CUA win that game the Cardinals would host the 2011 Landmark Conference championship game on Saturday, May 7.

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