ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Quinnipiac women's lacrosse team fell to Navy, 20-5, in the program's first-ever NCAA Play-In Game on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Bobcats finish arguably their most successful season in program-history with a 13-5 overall record after finishing the Northeast Conference regular season in first place with an 8-1 record.
The NEC Tournament Champions were unable to prevent the Patriot League Champion Navy squad from advancing to their second-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, as the Midshipmen improve to 15-5 on the year."We came out a little bit nervous," said head coach Danie Caro. "This was our first time playing beyond our conference tournament and it showed. We had a couple players injured this last week so we had some players out on the field that weren't used to being there. To Navy's credit they came out hard and did not let up for 60 minutes."
The Bobcats offense received a goal and an assist from both senior Laura Iannotti (Rocky Point, N.Y.) and sophomore Sarah Allen (Glastonbury, Conn.). Senior Christine Sinnigen (Sudbury, Mass.), sophomore Lianne Toomey (Hicksville, N.Y.) and freshman Phoebe Laplante (New Bedford, Mass.) each netted one goal apiece for Quinnipiac. Junior Marissa Caroleo (North Babylon, N.Y.) added one assist on the afternoon.
Junior goalie Noelle Martello (Westbury, N.Y.), who was replaced late in the game by senior Lexi DeStefano (Brookfield, Conn.), made 13 total saves in net for the Bobcats. Her counterpart, Michelle Verbeeck, made eight saves for the Midshipmen.
Navy was led offensively by Jasmin DePompeo (three goals, five assists), Caitlin Mandrin Hill (five goals, one assist) and Kathy Young (five goals). The Midshipmen also received two goals from Jill Coughlin and Aimee Gennaro, as well as one tally apiece from Lexi Dauernheim, Danielle Vivonetto, and Molly Hamilton.
Navy got off to a fast start, scoring the game's first four goals within the first five minutes of play. The Bobcats halted the scoring run with its first goal of the contest on a Sinnigen free position shot with 15:13 remaining in the first half.
"After we went down 4-0 and called that timeout we actually played them even for the rest of the first half," said Caro. "If we'd been able to play the way we played in those 20 minutes for the 60 minutes it might have been a different game. Navy was very disciplined and methodical in their possessions and they were very good with taking time off the clock and finishing their scoring opportunities."
The Midshipmen responded with two goals of its own to extend its lead, 6-2, with 8:27 remaining in the first half, but a goal from Toomey with 1:15 to play gave the half brought the score to 6-3. Navy netted the final goal of the first half with just 1.9 seconds remaining to give the game its halftime score of 7-3.
Navy's offense continued to apply pressure in the second half, as the team netted the first four goals of the half to extend its lead to 11-3 just under six minutes into the action. Iannotti briefly halted the Midshipmen's momentum with a goal at the 6:32 mark of the second half. Navy rattled off nine straight goals through the remainder of the game, before Laplante netted Quinnipiac's last goal with 1:39 remaining in the contest to give the game its final score, 20-5.