Panthers fall in first round for second straight year
AMHERST, Mass. – #17 SUNY Cortland used a run of five straight goals in the second half to pull away from Plymouth State University on its way to a 17-8 win in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament at Pratt Field on the campus of Amherst College on Saturday afternoon.
The Red Dragons (16-5) advance to the second round to play the host Mammoths (15-2) on Sunday, while the Panthers' season comes to a close with a 14-4 mark.
Cortland jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first five minutes before senior Megan Tingley (Natick, Mass.) found the back of the cage to put the Panthers on the board. The two teams traded goals throughout the remainder of the first half as PSU kept the deficit at three goals.
Sophomore Sam Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) scored off an assist from Tingley to make it 5-2 after 11 minutes of action, and senior Sam Sullivan (Canton, Mass.) had back-to-back goals, with junior Veronyca Daniels (Concord, N.H.) assisting on both, to make it 7-4 with 13:31 left in the opening half.
After a Red Dragons' goal, Daniels set up sophomore Sydney Dubois (Goffstown, N.H.) and Tingley added her second goal of the game with 6:22 remaining to make it a 9-6 game at the half.
Cortland scored twice in the first minute of the second half, but Sullivan countered with her third of the game three minutes later, cutting the margin to 11-7. The Red Dragons followed with five straight goals to pull away, the final resulting in a 16-7 lead with just under 12 minutes to play. Dubois scored on an assist from Tingley two minutes later and Cortland added a final tally with 6:46 left to result in the 17-8 final score.
Sullivan finished with three goals, while Tingley added two goals and two assists. Dubois scored twice and Daniels had three helpers. Tingley and Dubois each chipped in with a pair of draw controls, as sophomore Sarah Jackes (Londonderry, N.H.) grabbed three ground balls. Senior Clarissa Foote (Weare, N.H.) made 19 saves in goal but dropped to 13-4 on the year.
Cortland had three players record hat tricks, led by sophomore Lexie Meager (Syracuse, N.Y.), who also posted an assist. Sophomore Baylee Ojeda (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and junior Carly Stone (Syracuse, N.Y.) also scored three times, while senior Megan Gonzalez (Miller Place, N.Y.) had five assists. Freshman Annie Casey (Bay Shore, N.Y.) made 10 saves and improved to 15-4 with the win.
Plymouth State, under the direction of second-year head coach Sandy Bridgeman, was making its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and seventh overall. The Red Dragons are seeking a return trip to the national championship, after winning the title in 2015.
The setback marks the end of the careers of Tingley, Sullivan, Foote, Molly McGilvray (Hooksett, N.H.), Merissa Milano (North Reading, Mass.), Sophia Guerriero (Essex, Mass.), Caity O'Leary (Gloucester, Mass.) and Haley Brook (South Sutton, N.H.).
With her four points Tingley became just the second player in program history to eclipse the 100-point mark in a season, joining Hall of Famer Katie Sheridan who accomplished the feat twice. Tingley matched the program record with her 44 assists this spring and her 57 goals were the eighth-most. She ends her career with 147 goals, eighth-most in program history, and a school-record 151 assists to finish second all-time with 298 career points. Tingley also ends her career fifth all-time with 183 draw controls and seventh with 89 caused turnovers.
Sullivan ends the year with a career-high 60 goals, joining Sheridan as the only players in school history to post three 50-goal seasons. The 60 goals are tied for the sixth highest output in a season in program history. She ends her career fourth on the all-time goal-scoring list with 166 goals and her 197 career points are the seventh highest total all-time.
Foote ended the year with 157 saves, the seventh-most in a season in school history. Her 13 wins are tied for the fourth-highest mark in a season.
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