TCNJ Sets Wins Record, Beats Catholic
from press release
LANCASTER, Pa. - In a season that has already included a number of individual records being set, The College of New Jersey women's lacrosse team tacked on a few more on Saturday as the Lions moved into quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 15-9 win over Catholic University.
The Lions set a new program standard for wins in a season as they are 19-0 on the year, eclipsing the old mark of 18 set in 2004.
TCNJ was challenged by the ninth-ranked Cardinals (15-4) as they put together a nice run in the second half cutting the margin to three goals and bending the nation's top-ranked defense for nine goals.
Next up for the Lions a showdown with sixth-ranked Franklin & Marshall College as the Diplomats (19-2) advanced with a 7-4 win over 12th-ranked Messiah College. The regional final is set for Sunday, May 15 at 1 p.m. with the winner advancing to the national semifinals set for May 21 at Adelphi University. Earlier this season, TCNJ topped the Diplomats 9-5 in Lancaster.
Senior Alison Jaeger (Hampton, NJ/North Hunterdon) opened the scoring 2:16 into the game with that goal being her 100th point of the season. This is the second straight season she has eclipsed that plateau and in the only player to do it twice, joining teammate Leigh Mitchell (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape).
Mitchell then helped the Lions get on the board again just 24 seconds later feeding Kathleen Notos (Pennsauken, NJ/Camden Catholic) for a score. That assist gave Mitchell 112 points for the season.
Jaeger then made it 3-0 with a free-position goal, but the Cardinals became the first time to solve TCNJ's defense as Katie Buonpastore (Lansdale, PA/Lansdale) scored with 16:23 left in the half. That goal, which was the first allowed in the tournament, also ended the Lions' scoreless streak at 80:44.
Less than a minute later, Mitchell regained TCNJ's three-goal lead as the junior set a single-season record for points moving past Lee Moreau, who set the previous standard of 111 in 1989.
The Lions closed out the half with three more goals as Jaeger collected her third of the period to start that run and Jillian Nealon (Whitehouse Station, NJ/Hunterdon Central) scooped up a loose ball in front of the Catholic net and deposited in the back of the net for her 20th goal of the season. Notos capped the scoring with a pretty goal as she sliced through the Catholic defense and in one motion collected a ground ball a laced a shot into the top corner of the net for a 7-1 lead.
Both teams came out firing in the second half as they combined for eight goals in the opening 6:36. The Cardinals cut into TCNJ's advantage by scoring five of those goals making it 10-6 game. Catholic later closed that gap to 11-8, but Lions recovered to regain their lead.
Junior Sara Keating (Upper Montclair, NJ/Montclair) netted back-to-back goals to make it 13-8 and Jaeger then set up Nealon for a score putting the difference back at six goals. The Lions took their biggest lead of the game at 15-8 before Catholic closed out the scoring with 3:11 remaining.
Jaeger finished with four goals and four assists as she now has 17 points in only two tournament games. Those eight points raised her season total to 107.
Mitchell's new point record stands at 115 as she scored twice and dished out a pair of assists.
Keating and Notos each scored three times in the win, while Nealon chipped in with a pair.
Senior goalie Mary Waller (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright) added another record at the final horn as she picked up her 19th win of the season, a single-season mark for individual wins. She finished making four saves.