COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – A quick run of goals to start the game put the Ursinus College women's lacrosse team on track for an 11-6 Centennial Conference victory over visiting McDaniel on Saturday, the Bears' third straight league triumph.
Ursinus (6-5, 3-1) scored three goals in the first four minutes – two of them by freshman Haley O'Malley – to top the Green Terror at home for the first time since 2012 and move into a four-way tie for second place in the conference. Senior Amy Kohout and sophomore Emily DiGiorgio joined O'Malley with two goals for the Bears, which got a goal and an assist from sophomores Franny Liberatoscioli, Kaci McNeave, and Abby Goldstein.
O'Malley opened the floodgates on a free-position shot less than 90 seconds in, and Kohout's beautiful spin move and finish at the left post doubled the Bears' advantage at the 26:44 mark of the first period.
DiGiorgio netted a free-position conversion before Kohout found O'Malley cutting towards the middle, and the freshman slung a low shot into the bottom right corner of the net to build a 4-0 and force a Green Terror timeout with 21:34 remaining.
McDaniel broke up the Ursinus spurt with a tally by Olivia Geiger two minutes later, and Emily Brownawell added a free-position goal a minute after that to trim the home side's advantage to 4-2. The Green Terror got within 4-3 on Lindsey Farrell's free-position marker with 14:12 left in the half.
The Bears ended a nearly 20-minute drought when senior Lindsey Grabell cut toward the cage and quickly rifled a feed from Goldstein into the back of the net for a 5-3 lead with 3:18 to go.
DiGiorgio scored a surprising goal just before the first-half horn, hurling in a 30-yard heave on a restart following a turnover by McDaniel goalie Elizabeth Collyer, who was well out of the cage on a clear attempt and had no time to sprint back. The stunning strike, which came with 4.7 seconds remaining, stretched the Bears' lead to 6-3 at intermission.
Sophomore Bridget Sherry was first in the scoring column in the second half, bouncing a free-position attempt to provide a 7-3 lead at the 28:07 mark. Liberatoscioli connected on a similar stroke just over a minute later, and Kohout's free-position conversion made it 9-3 with 21:47 left.
Megan Kotelchcuk's goal snapped a scoreless stretch of more than 25 minutes for the Green Terror with 18:54 remaining, but McNeave hooked up with a cutting Goldstein for a goal and a 10-4 lead at the 16:12 mark.
McNeave concocted a highlight-reel goal with 9:05 to go, slapping the ball off the ground and into the left corner of the net after a pass from Liberatoscioli briefly fell out of her stick.
Olivia Geiger had 10 draw controls in addition to two goals for the Green Terror, which dominated 15-4 in the draw circle. Ursinus held a slim 21-19 edge in shots, making five of their seven free-position tries.
Sophomore Kaitlyn France made nine saves on the day, including one at point-blank range early in the second half. Collyer stopped six shots before being replaced by Nikki Francis for the last 11 minutes.
The Bears head to Lancaster to take on current No. 1 Franklin & Marshall on Saturday, April 15.