Mids Storm Past Lafayette in League-Opening Victory

EASTON, Pa. Led by senior team captain Erin Rawlick's (Forest Hill, Md.) game-high six goals and school-record tying eight draw controls and seven ground balls, the Navy women's lacrosse team (8-1, 1-0) cruised to a 14-8 victory over Lafayette (0-6, 0-1) in the Patriot League opener for both teams on a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon at Rappolt Field.

With wins in its first two road games of 2010, Navy has now six-straight regular-season road contests dating back to last season, including five in a row against Patriot League foes.

Additionally, the Mids have now won their conference opener in each of the program's first three seasons.

"I thought we played a great game given the unfavorable playing conditions," said Navy head coach Cindy Timchal, who collected her NCAA-best 370th career victory on Saturday. "Any time you can get a league win, especially on the road, it is important and we are certainly happy to begin the Patriot League season with a strong showing."

Rawlick paced all scorers with six goals and an assist. Her eight draw controls equal her previous career-best established earlier this season in a win over La Salle (Feb. 12), a mark which was originally set by Meg Decker in a Navy win over Canisius in 2008.

Her seven ground balls also matches the program's previous high-water mark reached twice this season by Kierstin King (So./Upperco, Md.) against Robert Morris and Elaina Ponchione (So./Silver Spring) against William & Mary.

Kathy Young (Fr./Berwyn, Pa.) scored two goals on three shots, had an assist, three ground balls and three draw controls, Mary Ruttum (Sr./Annapolis, Md.) added a goal, two assists and four ground balls and Caitlin Manrin Hill (Jr./Annapolis, Md.) notched two goals to lead Navy's offensive efforts.

Jasmine Depompeo (Fr./Sayville, N.Y.), Danielle Vivonetto (So./Rocky Point, N.Y.) and Beth Young (Fr./Berwyn, Pa.) each contributed a goal to round out Navy's seven goal scoers.

Navy opened the contest with two early goals and jumped out to a 5-1 lead before 10 minutes would elapse off the clock. A pair of Lafayette goals would cut the deficit to 6-3 at the 11:04 mark, but the Mids closed strong with unassisted goals from Rawlick and Kathy Young to take an 8-3 lead into halftime.

Navy's lead quickly grew out of the break with three unanswered goals from Rawlick in the first four minutes and 13 seconds of the second half. Together with the Mids' two late first-half goals, Navy had put together a 5-0 run while holding the Leopards without a goal for a span of 18:16.

Lafayette would halt the scoreless stretch with a goal with 22:48 remaining from Lauren Brown, who had a team-high three goals for the Leopards, but would draw no closer than seven goals the rest of the way.

It was Navy's third win in as many meetings against Lafayette and the Mids' second win in Easton.

"I thought we came out and got off to a good start," added Timchal. "We were confident and remained calm in spite of the conditions. Today was our fourth game in eight days and I think it began to show a bit as we wore down some in the second half. Overall though, I was happy with the effort."

Navy ended the game outshooting the host Leopards by a 43-17 margin, while also owning commanding advantages in draw controls (19-5) and ground balls (35-21). The Mids' 35 ground balls established a new school record, topping the 30 picked up a year ago in a win over Robert Morris (4/14/09).

Ponchione earned the win in goal after making four saves (two in each half) in 45-plus minutes of action. Emily Bjork made 15 saves in a losing effort for the Leopards.

The Mids return home next Thursday to host Manhattan in a 4:00 pm tilt at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Navy will face a stretch of three games in five days over spring break with a date against national power Duke on Sunday (March 21 at 1:00 pm), before returning home to host Presbyterian on Monday afternoon (March 22 at 4:00 pm).

2010-03-13



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