April 30, 2009

Sloan Leads Delaware Past ODU in CAA Semifinal

from press release

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.  -- The University of Delaware women's lacrosse team withstood a late Old Dominion run and defeated the Monarchs, 8-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association semifinals Thursday night at Albert-Daly Field on the campus of William & Mary.

The No. 2-seeded Blue Hens advance to play in the finals on Sat., 1 p.m. and will face No. 4 Towson, winners of the first semifinal game versus host William & Mary, 15-10.

Delaware was led offensively by senior captain Deb Sloan, who had four goals. Senior goalkeeper Jessica Cerveny saved 13 shots to pick up the win.    

Junior Emily Schaknowski opened the scoring a little over four minutes into the action as she ripped a shot past CAA Rookie of the Year, Sarah Geary. ODU's Saratu Dodo responded a few minutes later off an assist from Ashley Kellogg, finding a seam in a crowd right in front of the net and beating Cerveny to tie the score.

Sloan would then score on a free-position shot at 21:52 to put Delaware ahead again, 2-1. But the Monarchs' Jessica Noone scored off another assist from Kellogg to tie the score again, 2-2.

At the 15-minute mark, sophomore Ali Libertini scored off a feed from Schaknowski and freshman Steph Allen followed with a free-position goal at 13:10 to give UD a two-goal lead, 4-2.

CAA Player of the Year Kelly Kimener scored at 9:01 to bring ODU back within one, 4-3. Sloan would then score her second goal of the game just under the five-minute mark, but Kimener scored again at the two-minute mark to close out the scoring for the first half. Delaware took a 5-4 lead into intermission. 

 Leading 6-4 nearing the six-minute mark, Libertini was pressuring Geary who was holding the ball and circling the crease, and caused her to force a pass into the middle of the field. Allen anticipated the pass, reached out and intercepted it, then charged the net and bounced a shot past Geary to up Delaware's lead to 7-4.

But ODU would not go away. Down by three, the Monarchs got two quick goals from Noone and Rebecca Hartrum to shrink the lead to 7-6 at 3:16.

Delaware controlled the ball for most of the remaning time and melted the clock down to 30.7 seconds before Sloan iced the game with an open-net goal to give Delaware an 8-6 lead. In the final seconds, sophomore Lindsey Coon forced a turnover and senior Alexis Curcio scooped up the groundball and launched the ball down the field as time ran out.

This marks the first time in four tries that Delaware has won a semifinal game and advanced to the CAA finals.  


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