Cards suffer first conference loss of 2013 to No. 11 Crusaders

Cards suffer first conference loss of 2013 to No. 11 Crusaders

WASHINGTON – CUA suffered its first Landmark Conference home loss ever on Saturday afternoon, falling to No. 11 Susquehanna 15-10. The teams were tied at nine with 20:33 to play, before the Crusaders scored five straight to go on top 14-9 with 3:37 on the clock. Following today's action, CUA will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Tournament.

CUA struck first, receiving a goal from Madeline Nowakowski 2:48 into the game to put the Cards in front by one.

Moments later, Theresa Ciletti made it a two-goal lead for the home team when Lindsay Brophy fed her for a score.

Emma Ehler got the Crusaders on the board with a free position goal at the 26:03 mark, but following a yellow card on Susquehanna, Brophy scored her first goal of the afternoon to make it 3-1.

With nearly nine minutes gone in the 1st half, Susquehanna pulled to within 3-2, but Nicole Laitner answered for the Cards and the lead was again two.

Two straight goals by the visitors in a span of 1:27 tied the score at four, before Katie Miller got into the act for CUA with a free position goal to make it 5-4.

A free position goal by Ehler with 5:44 on the clock tied the game for the second time, but it was short lived, as Brophy found the back of the net 28 seconds later to give the lead back to the Cards.

The back-and-forth continued with Ehler again scoring to make it a 6-6 game, but Emily Downs took a feed from Brophy and scored to give CUA a one-goal lead at intermission.

Early in the 2nd, Miller put CUA in front by two, but Susquehanna responded with the next three scores to go in front 9-8 with 20:55 remaining.

Seconds later, Laitner scored off a feed from Meghan O'Brien and the game was knotted at nine.

Susquehanna came right back with two goals in a span of 50 seconds however, to open up an 11-9 lead with 17:41 on the clock.

Brynn Reid then made it a 12-9 game when she scored with 10:35 to play, and after Ehler scored at the 4:17 mark, CUA found itself down by four.

Ehler added yet another score less than a minute later and the lead was up to five.

Laitner scored her third goal of the afternoon with 1:51 on the clock, but it was too little, too late by that point.

CUA finished the day with a 29-27 lead in ground balls, and the Cards won 16 draw controls.

Individually, Alexis Martin was the team leader in ground balls with four, while Brophy and Caroline Scalamandre shared the team lead in draw controls with six apiece.

Tricia Pehnke sent back 14 shots in goal for CUA, including nine in the second half, and Emily Stankaitis stopped 12 shots for the visitors.

CUA will open the Landmark Conference Tournament at home on Wednesday, May 1, when the No. 2 Cards play host to either Drew or Scranton. Those two teams meet next weekend, with CUA hosting the winner in the tournament.

The five-time defending conference champions, CUA won the 2009 title on the road, and captured the other four in Washington, including last season over Susquehanna.

CUA has one regular season game remaining before the postseason gets underway, which will take place on Wednesday evening, April 24, when the Cardinals play host to Rowan. Start time is set for 6 p.m. from inside Cardinal Stadium.