ANNAPOLIS, Md. - With less than 10 seconds remaining in the game and the Leopards having just forced a Navy turnover in the defensive end, senior Addie Godfrey sliced through the middle of the Navy defense and drew a free-position opportunity to tie the game. Her attempt was deflected wide by a Navy defender and the Lafayette women's lacrosse team dropped a heartbreaker, 9-8, in the Patriot League Semifinal on Friday evening in Annapolis, Md.
"Our team's effort, faith and composure were incredible," head coach Alison Fisher said. "I couldn't be more proud. I thought they gave it everything they had and unfortunately, we just came up one short."
Leading 5-3 at halftime on two Leopard goals in the final minute of the opening stanza, Lafayette was seemingly in control for the majority of the game until a three-goal string by Navy from 22:51 to 15:19 in the second half gave the Mids their first lead, one they would not relinquish.
Giving up 15 goals in the first meeting between the two teams, Lafayette's defense stood strong all day, led by junior Meghan Curtin with six saves between the pipes.
Junior Ana White was all over the field, adding two goals and two assists to her stellar four draw controls against Navy's Loren Generi, the League's draw control leader. White also picked up three ground balls and caused two turnovers on the defensive side.
Navy's Aimee Gennaro led the Mids with two goals and three assists, while Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Jasmine DePompeo tallied two goals and two helpers. Lindsay Rheiner and Generi also added multiple goals for the Mids.
"I thought we had an excellent gameplan as holding an attack like Navy's to under 10 goals is an incredible accomplishment," Fisher added. "Our kids executed everything exactly the way we asked them to today."
Lafayette controlled the tempo in the opening half, manipulating their way into a 3-0 lead to open the first 15 minutes of the contest on goals from White, Drehwing and Rothstein.
Navy answered with three of its own to tie the game at three with 8:06 to play in the half and that score held until two Lafayette goals in the final minute put the Leopards on top, 5-3, going into the halftime break. Linville connected on a free-position attempt at the 0:33 mark, while Kleiber notched a tally with just 6.6 seconds remaining to send the game into intermission.
The Mids opened the second stanza with a flurry, cutting the Lafayette lead to one just 26 seconds in on a goal from DePompeo. Lafayette's Godfrey put the Leopards back on top by two at the 25:14 mark, but Navy began its run from that point on, tallying three straight to take their first lead of the game at the 20:06 mark of the second half, 7-6.
Another Navy goal with 15:19 on the clock pushed the Mids' lead to two, 8-6 and it looked as if the game may start to get out of reach for the Leopards.
Then. White put away a feed from Godfrey two minutes later to cut the lead to one again and prove that the Maroon and White were not going down without a fight. Navy's Rheiner scored two minutes later to push the lead back up to two again, but Godfrey came through at the 7:54 mark to make it a one-goal game down the stretch.
Navy went into stall mode with just under five minutes remaining, not allowing the Leopards a chance to score until White forced a turnover with 26 seconds to play and quickly shot it up to a streaking Godfrey, who ultimately was given a free-position chance to tie the game.
With her shot going wide, the clock ran out on the Leopards season with a 9-8 Navy victory. This was Lafayette's first appearance in the Patriot League Tournament since 2004 and it finished the season with an overall record of 9-9.
Following the championship game on Sunday afternoon, Godfrey and White were named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team.
Lafayette Athletics, as a partner in the mission of the
College, provides an incredibly effective learning experience for
student-athletes through competitive NCAA Division I athletics. Lafayette
sponsors 23 varsity sports with more than 600 student-athletes.
The Lafayette Sports Network (LSN) handles all multimedia elements and advertising
sales for athletics at Lafayette College. LSN is the Patriot League leader
in delivering high-quality programming worldwide via television, radio,
streaming video and satellite.