Second-Half Comeback Falls Short As No. 17 Williams Downs Women’s Lacrosse, 15-11

Springfield, Mass. – April 21, 2009Kaeleigh Lannan tallied four goals and added an assist but it wasn’t enough as the Springfield College women’s lacrosse team fell to nationally-ranked Williams College, 15-11, on Tuesday evening in non-conference action.

With the loss, Springfield falls to 9-5 on the season while the Ephs improve to 9-4 on the year. Williams entered the game ranked 17th in the country in the latest IWLCA poll.

Williams struck first after a patient opening possession that was capped off after Whitney Thayer buried an inside feed from Julie Nawrocki 2:21 into the game. The scoring then picked up as the teams combined for three goals in 1:10. At the 22:47 mark, Lannan netted the equalizer after slicing through the Ephs defense from the top of the 8-meter arc. The Ephs answered right back as Nawrocki found Tina Nawrocki on the crease 38 seconds later. In almost identical fashion to her first tally, Lannan evened the game at two with her second goal in as many minutes.

Williams continued to work the middle of Springfield’s defense as Thayer buried another strike off a feed from Britt Spackman with 19:20 left in the opening stanza. Erin Doolan then knotted the game at three as she found the back of the cage after a sensational feed from Alexandra Bazzano with just over 15 minutes remaining in the first half. However, Williams once again wasted no time regaining the lead as it netted a pair of goals in a 1:09 span to force a Springfield timeout. The visitors used an unassisted strike from Julia Nawrocki and goal from Spackman to gain a 5-3 lead with just under 14 minutes on the clock. Williams didn’t stop there as Julia Nawrocki pumped in a pair of free-position goals to push the visitors lead to four with 4:40 left in the first half.

Springfield scored its first goal in nearly 14 minutes at the 1:55 mark as Doolan took Heather Dobons’s pass from behind the cage and found the back of the net. Williams closed out the scoring with 33 ticks left in the half as Margie Fulton scored to give the Ephs an 8-4 advantage after the first 30 minutes of play.

The start of the second half featured some terrific goaltending on both ends as neither team was held off the scoreboard. However, the Ephs offense finally picked up as it poured in three goals in a 1:10 as its lead ballooned to seven at 11-4.

With just over 18 minutes left in regulation, the Pride rattled off four-straight goals to make it an 11-8 game. Nicole Soucie started the run with a assisted strike from Jenn Zubkus. Unassisted tallies from Lannan and Megan O’Brien sandwiched a Doolan free-position goal as the Pride forced Williams to call a timeout with 14:25 on the clock.

Out of the timeout, Taylor Fleishhacker took over the game as she led a Williams outburst of four-straight goals. The first year attack scored three-straight goals, including two in a 59 seconds span, and assisted on another as the Ephs regained a 15-8 lead.

The Pride scored the final three goals of the game but it wasn’t enough as it fell 15-11 to the Ephs. SC got goals from Jackie Moscardelli, Lannan, and Doolan as it dropped just its fifth game of the year.

Both keepers were terrific between the pipes despite the high scoring affair. Lauren McAulay made 12 stops between the pipes for the Pride, while Julia Schreiber made seven saves in goal for Williams. A major factor in the game was Williams’ dominance in draw controls as the visitors won 20 out of a possible 28 in the game.

Julia Nawrocki finished with a game high six points on three goals and three assists, while Fulton and Fleishhacker each netted hat tricks. Elizabeth Burns posted five draw controls and Tracey Ferriter added four ground balls.

Rebecca DiSisto finished with four caused turnovers in the loss, while Meahan Dobson added three caused turnovers and three ground balls.

The Pride return to action on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 when it host Smith in a NEWMAC matchup. The game will be played in hopes of raising awareness for breast cancer and Springfield College is requesting fans wear pink apparel to the contest.