READING, Pa. – The Ursinus College women's lacrosse team had multiple chances at a tying goal in the closing stages of Saturday's non-conference game at Albright, but the Bears' efforts proved fruitless in an 8-7 setback.
Ursinus (0-2) forced 24 turnovers – 10 of them on clears – and outshot the Lions, 28-24, but wound up on the short end of a tug-of-war that featured five ties and four lead changes. Albright (2-0) controlled a 12-5 advantage on the draw and got 15 saves from goalie Terae Mason to pull out the victory.
Junior Emily DiGiorgio led the Bears with three goals, delivering her second consecutive hat trick to open the season, while classmate Kaci McNeave made her presence felt with two assists, three draws, and three caused turnovers in her first game after a run to the Centennial Conference playoffs with the women's basketball team. Freshman Hannah Reape scored twice.
The teams traded free-position goals in the early going, with DiGiorgio answering the opening tally by Albright's Erin Coleman just over four minutes into the contest. The Bears took advantage of a failed clear to seize their first lead of the day on Reape's tally, which followed a ground ball by senior Alycia Hildebrand.
Kelly Baumann responded with a pair of eight-meter goals to swing the upper hand back to the Lions, and Baumann made it a four-goal run with a third free-position marker following one by Sophie Bass in the run of play.
Sophomore Haley O'Malley curtailed the Albright run with her first goal of the season, and freshman Grace Langen finished off a feed from McNeave for her first of the year to cut Albright's margin to 5-4. McNeave set up DiGiorgo for the equalizer with 1:20 to play in the opening half as the visitors went into the break on level ground.
After falling behind 5-2, Ursinus kept the Lions off the scoreboard for the final 15:40 of the first half. Part of that was due to a relentless defense that forced 13 turnovers, six of them coming on failed clears; senior Amy Lee and freshman Abby Krasutsky each caused a pair of them. If not for Mason's nine saves, the Bears' 17-11 advantage in shots could have resulted in a sizeable lead.
While the defense continued to stifle the home side, DiGiorgio completed her hat trick and handed Ursinus a 6-5 lead with help from senior Taylor DeBernardi, but Bass broke Albright's drought with a tying free-position goal with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The score stayed there for more than ten minutes before the Lions broke the stalemate with 9:11 to go. Reape leveled it once more at 7-all on a free-position goal with 4:52 remaining, but the Lions controlled the draw and went ahead again on Bass' third of the afternoon with 3:59 showing on the clock.
McNeave had a free-positon attempt saved, but junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn France kept Ursinus alive with a clutch stop of her own, giving the Bears one last chance to tie it. Following a timeout, they earned a free-position attempt with 22 seconds left, but a turnover doomed the Bears to a one-goal defeat.
France finished with nine saves for Ursinus. Five different Bears produced multiple caused turnovers, led by McNeave's three and two each by Hildebrand, Lee, Krasutsky, and senior Franny Liberatoscioli. Liberatoscioli had two draws, while McNeave's three all came after intermission.
The women's lacrosse team starts a three-game home stand with its Patterson Field opener on Wednesday, February 28 against Rowan.