Lapolla Scores Five as Aggies Fend off Gaels

MORAGA, Calif. -- Senior Molly Lapolla scored five goals, all in the first half, while junior Gina Hoffmire added four, helping UC Davis hang on to a 14-13 non-conference win over Saint Marys' in collegiate women's lacrosse action at Saint Mary's Stadium Thursday. The Aggies improve to 9-3 for the year. The Gaels slip to 4-9.

Also tallying goals for UC Davis were Christina Corsa, who hit both of hers in her team's 7-2 start. Britt Farquharson, Elizabeth Datino and Anna Geissbuhler each had one.

Freshman Mariah Walk and seniors Abbie Coleman and Amy Daniels each scored hat tricks for SMC. Coleman also added a game-high two assists.

The Aggies broke loose early, running up four unanswered in the first four minutes of play. Hoffmire took advantage of a Gael dropped ball on the opening possession and advanced unassisted on the opposing cage just 1:53 into the game. Less then 30 seconds later, Farquharson picked up a loose ball near the Saint Mary's crease, then flipped it to Lapolla for her team's second goal.

Then after Geissbuhler won the ensuing draw, Corsa traveled through the arc to find the net at the 2:30 mark. Hoffmire made it 4-0 when she drew a shooting space violation and converted the subsequent eight-meter chance. The Gaels didn't manage their first real attack opportunity until five minutes in, finally cracking the seal on the UC Davis cage in the sixth minute on Walk's second-chance goal.

Saint Mary's cut the Aggie lead to two goals on two different occasions before the break, but UC Davis managed to pull away on each circumstance. Lapolla scored two goals in the span of a minute to turn a 6-4 lead into an 8-4 cushion. She made it three straight on an assist from Elizabeth Datino in the 23rd minute to send the lead to five, then later scored her fifth goal on a short-handed possession with 5:26 left in the half. UC Davis went into the break with an 11-6 lead.

The Gaels rallied back after the intermission, scoring three of the first four in the initial seven minutes to bring the tally to 12-9. They further closed the gap, scoring three unanswered while forcing three straight turnovers to cut the Aggie lead to just 13-12 with 11:43 left to play.

After UC Davis called a timeout, freshman Hannah Mirza scooped up the next draw and Farquharson completed the drive with a quick goal just nine ticks later. Mirza then won the next draw -- her third on the day -- only to have SMC goalkeeper Whitney Campitiello tally four saves on six Aggie shooting attempts in that possession. The Gaels finally took possession after the fourth stop, cleared the ball into their attacking third, and finished with a Jillian Chongk goal that put the game at 14-13 with six minutes remaining.

Other than a blocked shot by Chongk, neither team managed another look at the cage the rest of the way. UC Davis took possession on an errant Gael pass with three minutes left and played clock-control ball for the duration of the game.

The two teams combined for 55 turnovers, more than half of which were unforced. UC Davis won the edge in draw controls at 18-11, including 8 of 11 in the second half.

The Aggies return to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play on Sunday with a home game against Oregon. The contest will effectively decide the third seed in the conference tournament, barring a UO upset of Stanford on Friday.


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