Dartmouth Caps Perfect Home Record, Routs Niagara

HANOVER, N.H. So often in today's sporting culture players and fans alike are bombarded with the notion that teams must always "protect their house." It's a message that's even read over the public address system before the start of games as players line up for introductions.

For the better part of two years and this entire spring season, Dartmouth has done just that: protect its home field. The No. 9 Big Green finished the home portion of the 2012 regular season with a perfect 7-0 record after routing Niagara, 21-4, in a Monday afternoon matinee at Scully-Fahey Field.

Dating back to the start of last season, fans at Scully-Fahey have witnessed only one defeat of the home team in 16 games.

The Big Green (10-2) wrapped up the home portion of the regular season by reaching the 20-goal mark in a game for the first time since knocking off Vermont, 22-2, on March 3, 2010.

"What we were rally focused on today was coming out off a big win and just playing 'Dartmouth Lacrosse'," head coach Amy Patton said. "We wanted to make sure that we did the things that we had set as goals for ourselves, things like moving the ball well and pressuring them defensively more than usual. I thought we were able to incorporate those into our game and play a disciplined 60 minutes."

Senior Sarah Plumb (Wellesley, Mass.) broke the program's all-time draw control record with four in the first half to leap Whitney Douthett '07 by one as she now has 136 for her career; four shy of the Ivy League record.

Junior Casey Griffin (Hingham, Mass.) came off the bench and not only scored her first-career goal, but finished the afternoon with four tallies to lead all players in the game.

"It was nice to see Kara Lehman (Lexington, Mass.) starting for the first time and she had a great game. She was good with the ball, was talking to her teammates and was aggressive all day," Patton said. "It was also nice to see Casey come in and contribute offensively and play with poise."

"Christine Lushefski (Rumson, N.J.) also really impressed me today when she went in there. She proved to us (the coaching staff) that she is ready to contribute on a regular basis this year," the head coach added.

Plumb scored three times, as did sophomore Lindsey Allard (Cohasset, Mass.) and fellow senior Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.). In just her second game of the year following an early injury that sidelined her for the first 10 contests of 2012, senior Sarah Parks (Ellicott City, Md.) scored her first goal of the year and set a new career high as she assisted on four others in the victory. Her five points were a game high.

In all, nine Dartmouth players posted multi-point games in the first-ever meeting between the Big Green and Purple Eagles (3-9).

One of those players with multiple points was sophomore Anjalie Christie (New Canaan, Conn.) who entered the game scoreless in her career, but picked up a goal and two assists in the 17-goal win.

All three goalkeepers players in the win as sophomore Kristen Giovanniello (Old Brookville, N.Y.) turned aside three shots in the first 30 minutes to pick up the win, her 10th of the season. Junior Julia Szafman (west Hartford, Conn.) and freshman Jessica Frieder (Princeton, N.J.) split time in goal in the second half with Szafman turning aside two and not allowing a goal in 16:15 of action.

The home team dominated the stat sheet on this day, outshooting Niagara, 36-14, and controlling the draw, 20-6. Both teams finished with five saves and 16 ground balls apiece.

Dartmouth will next play Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. when it ventures to Princeton to take on the Tigers in an Ivy League clash. Princeton is currently in a four-way tie for third in the league standings at 3-2. The Big Green are the only unbeaten team remaining in league play.


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