No. 1 TCNJ Rebounds to Beat No. 7 F&M
from press release
LANCASTER, Pa. - The sign of a good team is how they respond when faced with adversity. The College of New Jersey women's lacrosse team showed what they were made of on Friday as they trailed seventh-ranked Franklin & Marshall College by three goals in the opening half and battled back for a 9-5 win over the host Diplomats.
The win put the Lions at a perfect 14-0, while F & M dropped to 12-2 as they also saw its 23-game home winning streak come to an end. The loss was also only the third for the Diplomats at home since the start of the 2005 season. TCNJ is 4-0 against opponents ranked in the top 10 this spring, with three of those wins coming on the road.
It wasn't the start TCNJ was looking for as the Diplomats scored four of the game's first five goals with freshman Jen Garavente (Monroe Twp., NJ/Monroe Twp) getting that lone score for the Lions.
After it was 4-1, TCNJ got on a roll closing out the first half scoring five straight goals to close out the half. Junior Leigh Mitchell (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) ignited that run with a free-position goal and then set up sophomore Alex Spark (Harvey Cedars, NJ/Southern Regional) making it 4-3.
Mitchell knotted the game at four with 10:37 left in the half and Spark gave the Lions their first lead at 7:42 converting an assist from Kathleen Notos (Pennsauken, NJ/Camden Catholic). TCNJ kept the pressure on the rest of the half as freshman Lauren Pigott (Jobstown, NJ/Northern Burlington) took advantage of a free-position attempt scoring with one second left in the period. That goal sent the visitors into the break with a 6-4 lead.
In the second half, F & M scored 3:36 into the half, but that goal would be their last of the game as TCNJ's defense clamped down allowing only that one goal over the final 50:13 of the game.
That score by the hosts made it 6-5, but the Lions netted the final three of the contest with Mitchell sandwiching goals around one by Spark.
In the closing minutes, defender Kelly Brennan (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) collected a big draw control and Notos scooped up a key ground ball as TCNJ dominated possession the final part of the game.
Senior Mary Waller (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright) turned in another steady performance between the pipes making five saves.
Mitchell finished with four goals and one assist, while Spark also netted a hat trick.
TCNJ returns home after playing six straight road games on Tuesday, April 19 hosting Manhattanville College in a 7:30 p.m. start at Lions' Stadium.