Second-Half Surge Seals Win for #18 Navy over Longwood

FARMVILLE, Va. - Sophomore Sarah Butler/Oakleigh South, Victoria, Australia tallied a hat trick to pace Longwood University in a 14-8 defeat against the United States Naval Academy (1-0) on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics Complex in Farmville. Butler tied a career-high with her three goals in the squad's season opener. Five other Lancers logged one goal apiece in the decision, while Loren Generi led Navy with four goals and one assist on the day. Longwood (0-1) will return to action on Friday, February 14 when the squad travels to Elon University of the Southern Conference for a 4:00 p.m.

"We played the best first half of lacrosse I've ever seen us play," said head coach Elaine Jones. "However, we beat ourselves a bit with some mental errors in the second half, which put us in a hole trying to come back. That being said, the team fought hard the entire game and played with a ton of heart. Brittany Haun and Sarah Butler had stellar games and hustled all over the field. Overall, we learned what we need to fix and I'm excited to move forward to begin preparing for the next game."

The squads battled for control in the first half, answering each other goal for goal. Longwood was able to get on the board first less than three minutes into play, as Butler found the back of the net for the first time this season. Navy answered with a goal from Miranda Beal, but the Lancers fought back with a pair of unassisted goals from juniors Kacey Norwood/Chantilly and Liz Trainer/Ellicott City, Md. to give the home squad a 3-1 edge with just over 20 minutes to play in the first half. The Midshipmen knotted the score at 3-3 before junior Sarah Arndt/Pasadena, Md. found sophomore Katie McHugh/Burke open in front of the net for a hard shot on goal and Butler converted on a free position opportunity, giving Longwood a 5-3 advantage at 12:40 in the first.

Navy battled from behind once again thanks to three points from Katie Gallagher to even the board at 5-5 with less than seven minutes remaining in the half. Junior Sara Jacobson/Gainesville fired a free position shot on target at 5:21 and senior Lauren Prasnicki/Lexington found freshman Rachel DiGiulian/Annandale with a strong pass from behind the net, allowing the rookie to score her first career goal to give Longwood the upper hand at 7-5 with 4:06 to go. The squads traded one score apiece to maintain the two-goal buffer, but the Mids found the net twice in the final minute to make it an 8-8 stalemate at halftime.

Coming out of the break, Navy adjusted to quell the Lancers' offensive attack, taking a 9-1 shot advantage over the home squad in the second half. The mids converted on six of those shots for goals to pull away, while holding Longwood scoreless. The Lancers' lone shot attempt of the second half came off the stick of Norwood, but it missed wide, as Navy sealed the 14-8 decision.

In addition to Butler, Trainer, Norwood, Jacobson, McHugh and DiGiulian recorded one goal apiece for the Lancers. Prasnicki and Arndt notched one assist each, as well. Sophomore Shiloh McKenzie/Lothian and junior Brittany Haun/Charlottesville paced the team with three groundballs and two caused turnovers apiece, while Trainer logged a team-high three draw controls. Junior goalkeeper Christian Acker/Moorestown, N.J. totaled nine saves in the decision.

Aimee Gennaro registered four points for Navy to add to the team's offensive effort. Casey Browne and Katie Gallagher followed with three points each.

Saturday's contest marked the seventh meeting ever between Longwood and Navy in the sport of women's lacrosse. Following the victory, the Mids hold a 6-1 advantage in the all-time series.

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