No. 4 Northwestern Escapes with a Three-Goal Victory vs. Navy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy (6-1) battled hard with No. 4 Northwestern (6-1), the defending national champion, but fell 15-12 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Monday. The loss snapped Navy's program-record 17-game home winning streak.

"I'm proud of the effort Navy had today and it was a reflection of how hard we have been working," said head coach Cindy Timchal. "We played them tough. We were trading goals and then they got that little bit of a gap on us offensively. They are a very good team though. There is a reason why they have won seven of the last eight national championships."

The game featured seven ties with the last coming at 10-10 with under 15 minutes to go before Northwestern went on a 5-0 run to take a 15-10 advantage. Navy senior attacker Jasmine DePompeo (Sayville, N.Y.) keyed a late rally with back-to-back goals in a 40-second span but the Mids could not regain possession and Northwestern closed out the game with the three-goal victory.

DePompeo, the nation's second leading scorer after Monday's game with a 6.71 average, scored a season-high eight points against the Wildcats on five goals and three assists. DePompeo has 47 points this season on 26 goals and 21 assists. She has scored at least seven points in six of seven games.

"Obviously a loss is never our goal, but I think we did play hard and I am proud of our effort," said DePompeo, a co-captain. "We came in to the game with confidence and we felt we were ready to play. Everyone on their team is high-caliber though and they capitalized on our mistakes."

Other than No. 3 North Carolina's 11-8 win over Northwestern on February 22, no team this season has played the Wildcats closer than the three-goal deficit that the Mids turned in on Monday.

Navy had a strong start to the contest as junior attacker Aimee Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.) scored back-to-back goals to give the Mids an early 2-0 lead. She scored her first goal off an assist from senior Kathy Young (Berywn, Pa.) at 27:07. Then just 20 seconds later, sophomore Loren Generi (Bayport, N.Y.) made a long pass out of a restart to DePompeo on a fast break who then made the extra pass to Gennaro who finished the play.

Northwestern answered with back-to-back goals by Christina Esposito and Taylor Thornton for the game's first tie at 2-2. Young then scored off an assist from DePompeo before Northwestern's Alyssa Leonard scored 19 seconds later. The two teams would then trade goals again as DePompeo sent a low shot trickling underneath Northwestern goalie Bridget Bianco followed by a goal from Kelly Rich.

Navy then took a 5-4 lead with 14:19 remaining in the first half when Gennaro scored her third of the half off an assist from DePompeo. Northwestern then went on a 3-0 run to close the first half. The run began with an Amanda Macaluso free-position goal, followed by back-to-back goals by Northwestern's top-scorer Erin Fitzgerald for the 7-5 halftime lead.

The momentum that Northwestern had from its first half-ending run was quickly erased as DePompeo scored a man-up goal curling around the crease just 33 seconds into the second half. Leonard then controlled the ensuing draw and went right down the field to score in just nine seconds to keep the margin at two.

However, Navy showed its resiliency by fighting right back. First, Young found junior midfielder Jill Coughlin (Annapolis, Md.) cutting towards goal to cut the lead to 8-7 and then Gennaro sent a long pass to DePompeo behind the cage who came around the far side of the circle to beat Bianco to even the game once again at 8-8.

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