Cardinals cruise past CNU 18-5 in NCAA Tournament opener

Cardinals cruise past CNU 18-5 in NCAA Tournament opener

WASHINGTON – Behind an explosive offensive attack, CUA rolled to its fifth consecutive win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday, downing Christopher Newport 18-5 inside Cardinal Stadium.  Senior Meghan Brady netted a game-high seven goals, while five other Cardinals scored two goals.

CUA dominated Wednesday's game in every facet, winning 21 of 25 draw controls, forcing 15 CNU turnovers and out shooting the Captains 33-18.

Mary Swarthout won a game-high eight draw controls for the Cardinals, while three different Cardinals scooped up two ground balls.  Mallory Vogel led the team with two caused turnovers, and Tricia Pehnke earned the win in goal after sending back 10 shots.

The Cardinals took control of the game right from the start, scoring the first 15 goals to open up an insurmountable lead.

Katie Miller got things started with a goal 6:58 into the contest, and Vogel soon followed with a score to make it 2-0.

The lead reached three on Swarthout's goal at the 22:11 mark, and then Brady netted back-to-back scores to make it 5-0 with 15:04 to play before halftime.

The scoring run continued for CUA with a pair of goals by Lindsay Brophy in a span of only 42 seconds to put the Cards in front by seven.

A free position goal by Swarthout with 7:09 on the clock made the margin eight, and after Vogel fed Caroline DiBartolomeo with 4:12 remaining, the Cardinals were in front by nine.

Brady's third goal of the opening half put CUA ahead by double figures, and Miller's second goal made it 11-0.

Brady then closed out the half with her fourth score to send CUA into halftime with a commanding 12-0 advantage.

Vogel opened the second half with a free position goal in the first minute, as the lead reached 13, and after Brady netted goal number-five, the lead had reached 14.

Mary Robinson got into the act with 26:06 to play when she scored off an assist by Swarthout to make it 15-0.

Christopher Newport finally got on the board at the 21:21 mark when Becca Geist found the back of the net, but DiBartolomeo came right back with her second score to again put the margin at 15.

Geist fed Lauren King for the Captains second score at the 17:01 mark, but Brady continued her scoring onslaught with number-six at the 14:24 mark.

King and Brady continued to exchange goals with each player scoring once to make it 18-3 CUA with nine minutes to play, before Geist and Jessica Singer closed out the scoring with a pair of goals for the Captains.

The 13-goal margin is CUA's largest in its five-year NCAA Tournament history.  The win also improves the Cardinals to 3-0 all-time vs. CNU in the tourney, with previous wins coming in 2008 and 2010.

CUA now moves onto the regional round where the Cardinals will take on University of Redlands on Saturday, May 12 at 2:30 p.m.  The game will take place on the campus of Salisbury University.