COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College women's lacrosse team was even on the draw with powerhouse TCNJ on Tuesday night, but the Lions otherwise controlled play on both ends of the field in a 15-3 victory.
Sophomores Abby Goldstein, Franny Liberatoscioli, and Bridget Sherry each scored for Ursinus (3-4) in the first leg of a daunting week that has the Bears taking on two of the top three teams in Division III. Amanda Muller finished with five goals and an assist and Kathleen Jaeger added four goals and a helper as No. 3 TCNJ moved to 4-0 on the season.
Led by Sherry, who finished with five draw controls, the Bears played the Lions to a 10-10 stalemate on the draw. But TCNJ held large advantages in shots (31-7) and ground balls (20-7) and committed only six turnovers to 16 for Ursinus. The Lions were 5 for 8 on free-position attempts, with Muller and Mia Blackman converting twice in such situations.
Junior Meaghan Corbin did her best to stem the tide for the Bears, making six saves in the first half. Allie Gorman opened the scoring exactly three minutes in, and Muller and Jaeger scored 12 seconds apart to build a 3-0 advantage.
Liberatoscioli dented the board first for Ursinus, knifing into the circle and ripping a shot across her body and into the left corner of the net for her 13th goal of the season, tying classmate Emily DiGiorgio for the team lead.
Muller found the back of the net twice more to complete a first-half hat trick and hand TCNJ a 7-1 cushion at the break. Blackman got hot out of intermission, scoring three times in the first four minutes of the second stanza as the Lions went up 11-1 with 26:17 to go.
The lead reached 13-1 before freshman Haley O'Malley found Goldstein at the right post, and the sophomore dodged to her left for a top-shelf blast. After a strike by Jaeger, Sherry finished a dish from sophomore Kaci McNeave at the left side of the crease before Jaeger capped the scoring with 3:08 remaining.
Senior Lisa Grous, who recorded her 100th career ground ball against Emerson two weeks ago, collected two draws and a caused turnover for Ursinus, which succeeded on all but one of its 11 clear attempts. Sophomore Kaitlyn France relieved Corbin between the pipes at halftime and finished with three saves.
Miranda Chrone stopped two shots for TCNJ, which has qualified for the NCAA Championship every year since 1985 and won 13 national crowns over that span. Ursinus has not defeated the Lions since 1990, when the Bears eked out a 5-4 decision in the Final Four on the way to the national title.
It's out of the frying pan and into the fire for the women's lacrosse team, which opens Centennial Conference play at No. 2 Gettysburg on Saturday.