Cardinals bounce back in a big way with 4-1 win

Cardinals bounce back in a big way with 4-1 win

WASHINGTON – The No. 14 Cardinals bounced back from a disappointing loss over the weekend to down St. Mary's 4-1 on Tuesday evening inside Cardinal Stadium.  CUA used three second half goals to put the Seahawks away and earn its tenth win of the season.

The Cardinals came out with greater focus than they showed over the weekend, as CUA outshot the Seahawks 8-2 and was awarded 13 penalty corners to St. Mary's four. 

In goal for the Cardinals, Krystyanna Ramsdell stopped one shot, while St. Mary's used two goalkeepers on the night, including Lydia Garcia (two saves) and Anastasia Walsh.

"We came out on fire tonight," Gia Cillizza, CUA's head coach said following the game.  "We really controlled the pace of the game and I thought we played well."

She continued, "This was a total team effort with lots of hustle and a lot of enthusiasm.  We were connecting passes, our defense was great and once the whistle blew (at the start of the game), I saw where our energy level was at and I knew we'd do well."

CUA wasted little time in jumping out to an early lead as Emma Dixon took a feed from Meredith Chandler just six minutes into the game and found the back of the cage for a 1-0 Cardinals lead.

The Cardinals kept the pressure on as they looked to increase their lead, with Kendall Petschauer taking a shot at the 9:45 mark and Mary Swarthout following with an attempt of her own nine minutes later. 

Towards the end of the half CUA was awarded three consecutive penalty corners, but the Cardinals were unable to generate any additional goals and were forced to take their 1-0 lead into halftime.

Chandler saw to it that CUA started the second half the same way it began the first as she scored off an assist from Petschauer just a minute in to give the Cardinals a 2-0 advantage. 

St. Mary's answered quickly though, as the Seahawks scored just three minutes later when Natalie Hackstaff took a feed from Samantha Locke and found the back of the cage to make it a 2-1 game.

With a good deal of time remaining, CUA refused to sit on its lead and instead went on the attack with a shot by Swarthout at the 40:52 mark that Garcia was forced to make a save on.

The Cardinals then followed with four straight penalty corners and finally cashed in on the final one when Swarthout knocked in a rebound to give CUA a 3-1 lead with a little more than 20 minutes to play.  "That was great to answer with a goal after they cut it to one," Cillizza said.  "We have to be able to do that, to respond when a team challenges us."

Five minutes after Swarthout's goal, Chandler scored her second of the night when she deflected the ball into the cage for a comfortable 4-1 lead.  That was all the offense CUA needed as it recorded its fourth win on its home turf in 2010.

"There were a number of girls who played well tonight," Cillizza said.  "Meredith Chandler played arguably her best game of the entire season, and overall I thought all of our forwards were very strong.  Erin Thomas did a great job covering their leading scorer (Lauriann Parker) and Liz Grumbein had a terrific game, which was a big bounce back performance for her after a tough game over the weekend."

No. 14 CUA will return to action on Saturday when the Cardinals move back into conference play with a trip to Scranton to take on the Royals.  Game time is slated for 1:00.  

Cillizza spoke of what her Cardinals need to do in order to carry Tuesday's effort into the weekend.  "It's all about preparation and focus.  We weren't ready this past weekend when we played Juniata and it showed in the way we warmed up and ultimately in the way we played."  She continued, "I got on a few of the girls following the game and let them know that they can play better than they showed, and tonight they did that."  

Cillizza concluded, "Our girls know what they need to do and know what state of mind they need to be in, in order to be successful.  The key now is replicating that for every game."