Royals Lose Heart-Breaker at Catholic in Landmark Opener

WASHINGTON, DC-Catholic University has been the dominating program in women's lacrosse in the six-year history of the Landmark Conference, but The University of Scranton proved today that it is on the verge of closing the gap.

The Royals took the five-time defending champions to the wire before the Cardinals pulled out a 17-16 victory in the conference opener for both teams

Catholic, now 4-5 overall and 1-0, was led by sophomore attacker Lindsay Brophy (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield) with seven goals and junior midfielder Theresa Ciletti (Ocean City, Md./Worcester Preparatory) scored two of her three goals in the final seven minutes of play as the Cardinals erased a 15-14 deficit.

Senior attacker Deanna Giorno (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South) tied her career-high for the second time in her last three games with six goals and sophomore midfielder Emily Goss (Morristown, NJ/Morristown) and junior attacker Kerry Sullivan (Oceanport, NJ/Shore Regional) contributed five and three goals, respectively, for Scranton.

The Royals, who had a three-game winning streak snapped to fall to 4-3 overall and 0-1 in the league, also received a goal and two assists from senior attacker Kaitlin Lazorko (Philadelphia, Pa./Nazareth Academy), a goal from senior midfielder Jilliana DePaolera (Kinnelon, NJ/Kinnelon), and two assists from freshman midfielder Erin Allen (Syosset, NY/Our Lady of Mercy Academy).

The Cardinals held significant advantages in shots (47-28), ground balls (35-24), and draw controls (23-12), but Catholic was never able to pull away, thanks, in part, to the play of Royal senior goalkeeper Kathleen Smart (Hatboro, Pa./Archbishop Wood), who made a career-high 17 saves, including nine in the second half.

The Cardinals did take advantage of the foul-prone Royals by converting 7of 18 free-position shots, including 5 for 12 in the first half in opening up a slight 8-7 lead at intermission.

Early in the second half, the momentum swung in Scranton's favor, as Sullivan, Giorno and Goss each scored a goal during a 46-second span to open up a 12-10 lead. From that point on, however, the lead continued to see-saw back and forth. Overall, there were 10 lead changes and 10 ties.

In the final minute, the Royals had an opportunity to tie it again, but Goss's free-position shot with 25 seconds remaining was saved by Cardinal junior goalkeeper Yasmeen Ajdari (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson). She relieved starter Tricia Pehnke (West Windsor, NJ/West Windsor Plainsboro North) at halftime and finished with six saves to pick up the win. Pehnke made three saves in the first half.

Giorno, who also scored six goals in last Thursday's 15-14 double overtime victory against Montclair State, is now 12th all-time in goals in Scranton history with 86. She also moved into sole possession of eighth place in total points with 149. In addition, Goss continues to be a mainstay on offense, scoring 26 of her team-high 29 goals in the last five games.

The Royals will break for the Easter holiday and return to action next Wednesday, April 3, against Misericordia University at Fitzpatrick Field at 4:00 p.m.


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