April 26, 2009

Colgate Crushes Navy for PL Title, AQ

from press release

HAMILTON, N.Y. - The Navy women's lacrosse team (13-5) saw its 2009 season come to a bittersweet close as it dropped a 17-4 decision to No. 1 seed and reigning conference champion Colgate (14-4) in the Patriot League championship game on Sunday afternoon at Tyler's Field.

The two teams were tied at 3-3 with a little over seven minutes left to play in the first half, but the host Raiders reeled off seven unanswered markers while holding the Mids off of the scoreboard for a 24-plus minute stretch to take command of the contest on their way to earning the school's second-consecutive tournament title and bid into the NCAA tournament.

Navy concludes the year at 13-5 overall. In its first two spring seasons as a full-fledged Division I varsity squad, the Midshipmen women's program has now posted a 26-9 mark (.742)

"That was a very talented Colgate team. They are the class of the Patriot League and they will represent the conference well in the NCAA tournament," said Navy head coach Cindy Timchal. "We ran right with them for almost the entire first half, but it got away from us late in the final five minutes. We fought hard, but once they got going we knew they would be tough to stop - and they were.

"I am proud of our girls. We again won 13 games, we finished the year very strong winning 8-of-9 to get to today, and most importantly, we took another positive step in reaching the finals. We saw a lot of positives this weekend in spite of today's result, and we will look to build upon that heading into next spring."

Standout freshman goalie Elaina Ponchione (Silver Spring, Md.) made a pair of stops in the contest's first two minutes, opening the door for the Mids to strike first on junior Mary Ruttum's 30th goal of the season off a feed from classmate Erin Rawlick (Forest Hill, Md.) at the 25:37 mark.

The host Raiders came right back with three-straight scores over a three-minute, 25-second span, including a pair from first-team all-league middie Courtney Miller, to forge ahead 3-1 with 20:42 remaining.

Nearly 10 minutes would elapse before the game's next score, as a determined Rawlick charged through the 12-meter fan and hit the back of the net to make it a 3-2 game. Just 78 ticks later, sophomore sparkplug Lexi Dauernheim (Monterey, Calif.) would convert her first free position tally of the season to bring the two sides even at 9:43.

The Navy defense was rock solid, allowing only three goals in the first 22-plus minutes against a Colgate side that led the conference by averaging better than 13 goals per game coming in.

A pair of yellow cards, some tough luck and a flurry of late-goals from the Raiders' top guns, however, would send the Mids into halftime reeling and facing a four-goal deficit.

The home team regained the lead at 4-3 on a goal at 7:10, kicking off a 4-0 half-closing spurt which saw Colleen Bubnack record a pair of tallies, including the capper with 13 seconds left to put them ahead 7-3, an advantage they would carry into the break.

Trailing 5-3, Navy nearly stemmed the host's run at the 3:50 mark as Rawlick lofted a first-class feed to Dauernheim, who snuck behind the defense and was headed to the cage, but the sophomore's quick-stick shot ricocheted off the cross bar and was scooped up out of harm's way by a Raiders' defender.

Out of the break, the Colgate momentum continued as the Raiders reeled off three-straight tallies, the last coming with 19:51 to go, to make it a 7-0 run. Rawlick would stop the bleeding with her second goal of the afternoon at 15:16 to make it a 10-4 game and end Navy's scoring drought.

The top-seeded Raiders, who were led by the trio of Bubnack, Miller and Lawler, who combined for 13 points (9g, 4a), closed out the final 15 minutes by tacking on seven more unanswered goals to create the final 17-4 margin.

For the Mids, it was once again Rawlick who paced the Navy attack with two goals and an assist. The two-time first-team all-league attacker scored a tournament-high 10 points (6 g, 4 a) on the weekend.

She concludes the year with 92 points (55 g, 37 a), good for the third-highest scoring output in the 19-year history of the Patriot League. The 92 points top her own sophomore season total of 91 (67 g, 24 a) - a mark which now stands fourth all-time in league history.

Rawlick, Ponchione and senior defender Kristen Laraway (Long Valley, N.J.), who fought valiantly to play in both weekend games in spite of a nagging ankle injury, were Navy's three representatives on the all-tournament squad.

2009 Patriot League All-Tournament Team

Tournament MVP: Colleen Bubnack, Colgate
Maddie Kearns Colgate
Sara Drexler, Colgate
Molly Carroll, Colgate
Meghan Lawler, Colgate
Erin Rawlick, Navy
Kristen Laraway. Navy
Elaina Ponchione, Navy
Catherine Barry, Bucknell
Bonnie Buechel, Bucknell
Sara MacIntyre, Lehigh
Meagan Tenety, Lehigh

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