COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – A three-goal outburst in a span of less than two minutes bridging the halftime break was the difference as the Ursinus College women's lacrosse team defeated Albright, 7-5, on a sunny Saturday morning on Patterson Field.
Sophomore Bridget Sherry provided the go-ahead score with 8:39 remaining for the Bears, who are off to a 2-0 start for the second straight season. Sophomore Franny Liberatoscioli had two goals as Ursinus put six different players in the scoring column. Sophomore Abby Goldstein had a hand in each of the last two markers, while Sherry, sophomore Emily DiGiorgio, and junior Jules Krasutsky each registered a goal and an assist.
The Bears rang the pipe twice in the first few minutes, with senior Lindsey Grabell ripping one off the crossbar and freshman Haley O'Malley tagging the left post, before getting on the board at the 22:55 mark. Grabell scooped up an errant clearing pass by Albright goalie Haley Joyce and started a transition break that ended with Krasutsky scoring out in front of the cage on a feed from DiGiorgio.
Albright scored the next two goals and took a 3-2 advantage into the final minute of the frame, when two lightning-quick strikes from the Bears put the home team back on top. Ursinus found the back of the net twice in just 9.1 seconds, starting when DiGiorgio beat Joyce high on a free-position shot with 43.7 ticks showing. Sherry controlled the ensuing draw and fed ahead to sophomore Kaci McNeave, who used multiple shot fakes before bouncing a shot into the twine as the Bears grabbed a 4-3 lead at the break.
The home team's momentum continued out of the intermission. Less than a minute into the second stanza, Krasutsky snagged a ground ball off a save and quickly hit Liberatoscioli streaking toward the cage; the junior made no mistake with a bouncer that extended the lead to 5-3.
Devon Mela netted two straight markers to level the spread at 5-all with 10:19 to play before a beautiful connection from Goldstein to Sherry handed the Bears the lead back at the 8:39 mark. With the Lions' keeper out of the cage in attempt to intercept a pass, Goldstein quickly passed over the top to Sherry, who punched home the go-ahead goal before Joyce could react.
Goldstein added an insurance tally with 5:34 to play, coming around the right post and faking once before sending a left-handed shot into the back of the net, doubling the Bears' advantage to 7-5. Albright hardly touched the ball again, as Ursinus killed the rest of the game clock with extended possession.
Ursinus dominated the shot count, 31-17, held an 8-6 edge in draws and forced 21 turnovers, but the Lions stayed close throughout thanks to a brilliant performance from Joyce, who finished with 15 saves. One factor was the clearing game, where Ursinus went 14 for 15 and forced Albright into 11 turnovers in 25 attempts.
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn France played well in her first career start, recording seven saves – including some big ones in the second half – to pick up her second win in a row.
Sherry collected five draw controls and five ground balls to lead the Bears, while Liberatoscioli caused three turnovers.
The women's lacrosse team hits the road for the first time on Wednesday, March 1, at Rowan. Opening draw is slated for 4 p.m.