May 10, 2009

Final Four-Bound Bullets Take Out TCNJ

from press release

EWING, N.J. - For the third time in four seasons, the Gettysburg College women's lacrosse team claimed a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament semifinals as the Bullets took down host The College of New Jersey 10-9 in the regional final Saturday afternoon. Junior goalie Kristen Krammer (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg) made a pair of saves in the final 1:10 and Gettysburg survived a last-second shot by the Lions' leading scorer to claim the victory.

Gettysburg (16-3) advances to the semifinals on Saturday, May 16, at Roanoke College's Donald J. Kerr Stadium in Salem, Va. The Bullets will face top-ranked Salisbury University (19-1) in Saturday's first contest at 5 p.m. The second semifinal will pit the last two Division III champions against each other as Franklin & Marshall College (19-1) will meet Hamilton College (16-2) in a rematch of last season's championship game at 8 p.m. The two semifinal winners will then take the field at Kerr Stadium on Sunday, May 17, for the national title at 3 p.m.

(Highstown, N.J./Peddie School) and sophomores Krammer made a game-high 10 saves to lead the Bullets, including six in the crucial second half. Gettysburg's offense was led by juniors Nina Emala (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr) and Hollis StahlAllegra Formento (Princeton, N.J./Princeton) and Heidi Bitter (Darien, Conn./Westminster) who each produced a pair of goals.

The rematch of an 11-10 decision won by TCNJ (16-3) earlier this spring proved every bit as good as the first contest as the two teams posted six ties in Saturday's semifinal. The last tie occurred at 9:39 when Kathleen Notos scored on a free position attempt to pull the Lions even at 8-8. Amazingly, in the team's first meeting this spring, it was Gettysburg who tied the game on the same type of goal at nearly the same exact moment, only to have TCNJ score back-to-back goals to come out on top.

In a twist of fate, Saturday's game was decided in the same manner as the first, only this time things worked out for the Orange & Blue. Junior Lexie Hearn (Old Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) gave the lead back to the Bullets with an unassisted score at 6:34 and Bitter followed just under the five-minute mark with a free position goal to lift the advantage to 10-8.

TCNJ sliced the deficit in half as Notos threw in a score at 4:04. The Lions procured the ensuing draw control and attempted to tie the game, but a shot by Lisa Seldeen sailed high of the mark and a free position attempt was stopped before a shot got off as Stahl knocked the ball away from Alison Jaeger. Gettysburg was able to clear the ball up the field and burn some time off the clock.

Down to their final minutes, the hosts put the pressure on and eventually regained possession of the ball with 1:32 remaining. The Lions had back-to-back looks at the goal, but Krammer stepped up to the plate and turned away shots by Notos and Katie Reuther to preserve the advantage. After an exchange of turnovers, TCNJ had one last chance to tie the game and put the ball in the hands of Jaeger, who already lit the lamp four times in the contest. The Bullets defense was able to close ranks and keep Jaeger from a quality look as her shot sailed wide.

To start the game, the teams exchanged goals before Stahl and Emala put in back-to-back tallies, both assisted by sophomore Marnie Commins (Fairfax Station, Va./Robinson), to lift Gettysburg to a 3-1 lead at 18:02. Jaeger and Stahl exchanged goals to maintain the margin down to almost the 10-minute mark. At that point, TCNJ received back-to-back goals from Jaeger and Seldeen to force a 4-4 tie.

The first period ended with a 5-5 tie as freshman Hanna Church (Ellicott City, Md./Mount de Sales) and Sara Keating each put in tallies for Gettysburg and TCNJ, respectively.

Formento began the second half with a free position goal to break the deadlock, but Jaeger had a two-goal answer, staking the Lions to their first lead of the contest 7-6 with 21:20 on the clock. Formento and Bitter came right back with back-to-back free position goals to put the Bullets back in front 8-7 and set the stage for the final 10 minutes of play.

TCNJ held slight advantages in shots (26-24) and draw controls (11-10), while Gettysburg led ground balls (10-7) and saves (10-8). The Bullets also committed four more turnovers than the Lions (13-9).

Krammer led Gettysburg with five ground balls and Stahl added two ground balls, two draw controls, and a caused turnover. Hearn posted a goal, an assist, and two draw controls. Junior Anna Scanlan (Lutherville, Md./Roland Park Country School) logged a pair of caused turnovers to lead the defense.

Jaeger finished with four goals on nine shots for TCNJ. Notos posted two goals and one helper and Seldeen tallied a pair of scores and four draw controls. Mary Waller made eight saves in the Lions' cage.

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