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Sunday’s women’s college roundup: Penn outlasts Dartmouth for Ivy title; Navy tips Lehigh for Patriot crown

Sunday, 2nd May 2010

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 5/2/10

Megan Smith (Henderson) and Maddie Poplawski (Springfield-Delco) scored late in the game to break a 7-7 tie as host Penn held off Dartmouth, 9-8, today at Franklin Field to claim the first-ever Ivy League women’s tournament championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney.

Dartmouth, after falling behind, 7-2, had stormed back to tie the game at 7-7 with 17:57 to play.

After Erin Brennan picked up the ensuing draw control, she drew a foul on Dartmouth’s Sarah Plumb. Facing a tough angle, Brennan chose to wave off the shot and make a pass once play resumed. That pass found a wide-open Smith at the side of the cage and the senior immediately put the ball behind Dartmouth’s Julie Wadland to give Penn back the lead.

Just 29 seconds after the goal Giulia Giordano was tagged with a yellow card, sending her off the field for three minutes. Penn (14-3, ranked No. 6) hunkered down on defense and halfway through the penalty Emma Spiro caused a turnover, picked up the ground ball and raced out of danger.

The Quakers had a chance to extend their lead on a Courtney Lubbe (Council Rock North) free position attempt with 12:12 remaining, but her shot hit all post. A minute later, freshman Poplawski (two goals) drew a free position of her own and buried the shot to give Penn a two-goal lead.

The Quakers needed that goal as Dartmouth (11-4) bounced back one more time. With less than six minutes to play, Kirsten Goldberg picked up a ground ball off a Penn turnover and rushed down the field, drawing a free position when she reach the eight-meter area. She attempt was good, closing the gap to one with 5:16 to play.

The Big Green won the draw and had a chance to tie, but Kat Collins was called for a yellow card on the follow-thru of her shot, turning the ball over to the Quakers. From there, Penn held the ball for the final 4:29 to win the first-ever Ivy League Women’s Lacrosse Tournament.

“”It was a great experience and a great atmosphere,” head coach Karin Brower Corbett said. “I think it’s a great preparation for the NCAA Tournament. Especially to play in that Friday-Sunday format-if we’re lucky enough to get to the Final Four it will definitely help us.”

The five-goal run by Dartmouth in the second half erased great work by Penn in the first half. Penn outshot Dartmouth, 15-2 in the first half, with Wadland doing everything she could to keep the Big Green close with seven saves in the opening frame. Emma Spiro had two goals in the first half (three total) and was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

Spiro finished with three goals, four draw controls and two caused turnovers in the win. Her four goals, six draw controls, four ground balls and two caused turnovers made her the inaugural Ivy League Tournament Most Outstanding Player. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Brennan, Ali DeLuca, Giulia Giordano and Barb Seaman. For the tournament, DeLuca had ten points (4G-6A) while Brennan had five goals and an assist. Seaman finished with six ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers. Giordano had a goal and three assists.

The Quakers will now await their seeding and first-round opponent for the 2010 NCAA Championships. Selections will be announced May. 9. This marks the fourth-consecutive year Penn has won the Ancient Eight’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

Navy 11, Lehigh 9

Led by senior team captain and tournament MVP Erin Rawlick’s five-point effort, the Mids (16-3) outscored top-seed and host Lehigh (14-4) by a 6-3 margin over the final 30 minutes on its way to capturing its first Patriot League Championship.

Winners in seven of its last eight and of a school-record 16 games this spring, Navy will host Northeast Conference champion Sacred Heart (14-4) in an NCAA play-in game next Saturday, May 8 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 2:00 pm. The winner of that contest will earn a berth into the NCAA Women’s Championship’s Field of 16.

“I am just so happy for our girls. This was the next step for the program and it was great that this senior class was able to finish their career by winning the conference tournament,” said Navy head coach Cindy Timchal (Haverford High), who has guided the Mids to a 42-12 record over their first three seasons of varsity play. “We knew it would be a tough game, but I thought we played extremely tough today ourselves and answered the challenge. We did a great job on defense and I thought that wound up being the difference.”

Allison Thomas (Conestoga) led the Mountain Hawks with four goals, one assist, three draw controls and two groundballs.

Louisville 19, Villanova 6

Bergan Foley (Gwynedd Mercy Academy) had seven goals and one assist to lead the Cardinals (11-6, 4-4) to the Big East win over the Wildcats in a season finale.

Justine Donodeo had two goals and an assist for Villanova (8-8, 1-7).

Division II

Georgian Court 19, Holy Family 4

The Tigers (10-7), who made it all the way to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) finals in only their second year, bowed out despite four goals by Jennifer James (Little Flower).

Division III
Franklin & Marshall 9, Gettysburg 8, OT

Franklin & Marshall (14-3) rallied from a 5-1 deficit to force overtime and then capture the Centennial Conference Championship, the Diplomats’ fourth in as many years. Cat Serpe provided the difference in the 9-8 title game, scoring with five seconds remaining in the second overtime period.

Meredith Lussier (Radnor) had a goal and three assists and Maggie Mae Shields (Baldwin School) scored once for the Diplomats

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