COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College women's lacrosse team went back and forth with visiting Haverford until the final buzzer in a Centennial Conference thriller on Saturday afternoon, but the Bears' last-second shot at a tying goal was off the mark as the Fords survived for a 10-9 triumph.
Senior Lindsey Grabell matched sophomores Franny Liberatoscioli and Emily DiGiorgio with two goals apiece for Ursinus (7-7, 4-3), which came up just short in a contest that morphed from a first-half shootout into a second-half defensive slog. Ursinus dropped a half-game behind Washington College for fifth place in the CC, with the Shorewomen set to host No. 9 Franklin & Marshall later Saturday.
The Bears were first on the board as senior Amy Kohout picked out sophomore Abby Goldstein in front of the cage for a quick strike at the 27:31 mark of the opening half, but Haverford reeled off a run of five unanswered markers – two of them by Julia Manetta – to seize a 5-1 lead midway through the period.
After conceding the first six draws to the Fords, Ursinus started to even out the discrepancy in the circle. The result was a decided momentum switch that saw the home side eventually pull level. The strong closing stretch began when Liberatoscioli assisted on a goal by Grabell before firing off one of her own, and Kohout's top-shelf runner trimmed the Haverford lead to 5-4 just inside the 10-minute mark.
The teams traded a pair of goals before the Bears got back on even footing when DiGiorgio took a pass from Kohout just outside the circle and maneuvered her way towards the cage for a nice finish and a 7-all deadlock with 1:54 to go. The Fords regained the upper hand on Allie Gibbons' free-position conversion with 59.5 ticks showing on the clock.
Haverford tallied the first two goals of the second half, with Sarina Manetta assisting on one and scoring the other to make it 10-7 with 18:32 to go. Free-position conversions by DiGiorgio with 11:25 remaining and McNeave at the 4:15 mark brought the Bears within 10-9, setting up the frantic finish.
The Bears controlled the ensuing draw, but had the ball slapped out by a Fords defender. Haverford was able to hold possession until DiGiorgio stripped an attacker with about 20 seconds left. After a Fords foul, DiGiorgio had one last-ditch opportunity, but her shot sailed wide with 1.2 ticks remaining and Haverford was able to escape.
Gibbons finished with three goals and two assists to lead Haverford, while the Manetta sisters combined for that same total. Tatiana Lathion had three saves in the first half and Rachel Romens made two in the second stanza.
Kohout collected a game-high five draws for Ursinus, which held a 12-9 advantage in that category and outshot Haverford, 26-21. Senior Lisa Grous caused three turnovers and had two draw controls, while Liberatoscioli added two draws and a caused turnover before exiting the game on a second yellow card with 19:23 left in the second half.
Sophomore Kaitlyn France posted seven saves for the Bears, including two sequences in which she stoned back-to-back attempts in close in succession.
The Bears head to Muhlenberg for a key CC clash on Wednesday, April 26.