Kutztown Remains Undefeated with Victory at Converse

SPARTANBURG, S.C. Kutztown held Converse off the scoreboard for the opening 43 minutes of play and cruised to a 13-3 win in non-conference women's lacrosse action.

The Golden Bears have allowed just seven goals in two games this season, the best two-game defensive stretch since the program was re-established in 2008.

Neither team scored during the game's first nine minutes before Gina Carmina (Flanders, N.J./Mt. Olive) took a feed from Emily Solt (Bowmanstown, Pa./Concord) to put KU ahead 1-0 with 20:52 left in the half. The defenses continued to dominate in the first period, as it took another eight minutes for either team to score again. With 12:45 left in the half, it was Carmina again for a 2-0 Kutztown advantage.

Less than a minute later, however, the Golden Bears erupted for two goals in a five second stretch. Solt used a Kelsey Halligan (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) pass to beat the Valkyries' keeper with 11:56 left in the half. Katie Feairheller (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) stretched it to 4-0 five seconds later off of a Leann Pica (Levittown, Pa./Neshaminy) assist.

Rosa Buffalino (Monroe Twp., N.J./Monroe Twp.) benefitted from another Solt assist with just over eight minutes remaining and Pica took a feed from Carmina with six minutes left to give the Golden Bears a 6-0 advantage at the intermission.

While the first half started out as a defensive struggle, KU scored three times in the opening six minutes of the second half to put the game away. Kelsey Hogan (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) scored unassisted with 26:56 to play to open the second half scoring. Carmina added her third goal of the day two minutes later for an 8-0 lead. Hogan scored again, this time off a free position shot, with 23:58 to play as KU stretched its lead to nine.

Sydnie Hickey got Converse on the board with 16:39 to play, but Carmina and Pica were both the recipients of assists by Lauren Schlitt (Baldwin, N.Y./Oceanside) in the next 4:30 to give the Golden Bears an 11-1 lead.

Back-to-back scores by Lindsey Reuss and Brianna Hoffman cut the Valkyries' deficit back into single digits with 7:42 to play before KU scored the final two goals of the afternoon.

Buffalino scored off an assist from Carmina with 3:16 to play, then assisted on Megan Schwar's (Alpha, N.J./Phillipsburg) only score of the contest at the 1:47 mark.

Carmina finished with four goals and two assists to go along with eight ground balls. Pica and Buffalino each had two goals and an assist, while Pica was also credited with seven ground balls and six draw controls.

Hogan scored twice and added eight ground balls and three caused turnovers. Solt forced two turnovers in addition to her goal and two assists. Marissa Kalodner (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) had three caused turnovers.

Alexis Williams (Woolwich Township, N.J./Kingsway) continued her strong play in net, stopping six shots in goal. She has now stopped 68 percent of the shots she has faced through 120 minutes.

Reuss had a goal and an assist to lead the Converse offense. Courtney Cambra had seven ground balls. Sara Walters caused three turnovers.

Alexandra Gurecki stopped 18 shots for the Valkyries, but it was not enough to keep them in the game.

The Golden Bears will look for their third straight win when they head to Shepherd on March 17 for a 1:00 p.m. non-conference contest.


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