COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College women's lacrosse team scratched and clawed its way back in the second half but fell short of Albright by a score of 13-10 in non-conference action at Patterson Field.
Ursinus (0-2) rallied in the final stanza after facing an 8-3 deficit at intermission. The Bears went on outscore Albright 7-5 after halftime, grabbing the upper hand on the draw and in shots. The Bears ripped 19 shots on goal in the second half after a slow first half with just eight, but it wasn't enough to overcome the early work done by the Lions (1-1), who initially dominated those key categories to give themselves a sizable cushion.
Senior Courtney Cortese had a nice comeback performance after missing the last two seasons due to injury. Cortese picked up a hat trick and added a helper for a team-high four points. Her goal with seven minutes to play in the first half marked her first tally in three years for the senior, who scored 19 during a strong rookie campaign.
Senior Bridget Sherry, sophomore Hanna Crowley, and junior Haley O'Malley each scored a pair of goals, while Sherry added an assist to her ledger. Crowley matched her two-goal performance in the opening game against Cabrini. Senior Kaci McNeave also added a goal to round out the Bears' scoring, her first of the season.
Senior goalie Kaitlyn France stood strong in goal to end the day with 14 saves. France kept the game from getting out of hand early on and made several tough stops in the second half.
Starring for Albright's offense, which featured several successful cutting plays in front of the cage, was Kelly Baumann, who registered four goals and four assists to lead the Lions' attack. Baumann ripped 14 of Albright's 32 shots. Along with Baumann, Sophie Bass collected five points on two goals and three assists.
Ursinus did most of its damage from free-position shots, going 5-of-10 in those situations. Albright's tough defense made the Bears' execution of offense difficult. Keeper Terae Mason saved 11 shots to earn the win and stoned a couple of golden opportunities for the Bears.
Albright didn't take much time getting on the scoreboard. Thirty seconds in, the Lions recorded their first goal courtesy of Taylor Filmer, and Bass gave the Lions an early 2-0 cushion two minutes in the game.
Ursinus put its first tally on the board two minutes later when O'Malley blasted her first goal of the season on a free-positon shot past Mason.
On the advantage, from behind the cage Sherry fed Crowley for a close shot into the net to knot the game at 2-2 at the 22:42 mark.
A few seconds later, the Lions took a 3-2 lead and went on a game-changing 5-0 rally in the last five-plus minutes. The Lions owned the draw and swung the shot differential mightily in that span.
The Bears ended a 15-minute drought without a score when Cortese finished a low eight-meter attempt, but Baumann picked up her second goal and fifth point of the first half to give the Lions an 8-3 lead at intermission.
Baumann again lit the lamp to go ahead by six goals before back-to-back goals from Cortese and Sherry shifted the momentum to the home team. Sherry showed a great individual effort by cutting through Albright's defense to score her first tally of the season. Sherry's goal cut the game to 9-5 five minutes into the second half.
Sherry's goal from Cortese followed Albright's marker to stay within four scores, and a wrap-around attempt by sophomore Grace Langen hit the crossbar at the 17:54 mark. A minute later, Cortese fired one in front of the crease from McNeave to cut it to 10-7.
Albright picked up two goals from Baumann and Maddie Taylor to go up 12-7, but the Bears scored three straight to get within 12-10, their closest margin in the second half. Crowley snuck one by Mason, and McNeave scored on a free-position bouncer. O'Malley's free-position goal went steaming low into the net with 7:43 to play.
But Mason came up big for Albright, brick-walling Sherry's shot with the shot clock expiring and under four minutes to play. Albright delivered a dagger on the other end to go up 13-10 with under three minutes to go as Abbie Moist finished a goal from Baumann.
The Lions led in shots (32-27) and draw controls (15-10) and committed fewer turnovers (15-11). The Bears picked up 16 ground balls to Albright's 11.
Sherry (five) and Cortese (four) combined for nine of the Bears' 10 draws, while Crowley led the way with four ground balls.
The Bears travel to No. 21 Rowan Wednesday at 4 p.m.