Four-for-Four! CUA captures fourth straight conference title

Four-for-Four!  CUA captures fourth straight conference title

WASHINGTON – Make it four Landmark Conference titles in four tries for CUA after the Cardinals defeated Drew 12-11 on Saturday afternoon inside Cardinal Stadium.  Katie Buonpastore scored with one second left in the first half off a terrific feed from Kate Robinson to tie the game at six and the Cardinals rode the momentum from there to their fourth straight conference championship.

Following nearly seven minutes of scoreless lacrosse Mary Swarthout put CUA on top with her 55th goal of the season and less than three minutes later Meghan Brady made it 2-0 Cardinals with her 24th score.

The Rangers stormed back with the game's next four goals though, capped off by Stacie Brown's score with 12:23 to play in the opening half.

Brady put an end to Drew's run with her second goal of the day with 11:48 on the clock to bring CUA within one, but Sloane Coales answered for the Rangers to put the visitors back in front by two.

Mary Robinson got into the scoring act for CUA with 8:57 left to play before halftime to make it a 5-4 game, and Buonpastore tied things at five with her 27th goal of the year with a little over a minute to play.  

Aileen Musynske scored an unassisted goal with 1:05 on the clock to put Drew on top 6-5 and it appeared as though the Rangers would take the one-goal advantage into halftime, but CUA had other plans. 

With less than ten seconds remaining and CUA attempting to clear, Kate Robinson sent a long pass that traveled halfway down the entire field and landed perfectly for Buonpastore to scoop up.  She then fired a shot into the back of the net just before the halftime horn sounded and the game was knotted at six.

Only 41 seconds into the second half Chelsea Gleason scored her first goal of the day off an assist from Buonpastore, but Stacie Brown answered for Drew to tie things at seven.

Back-to-back goals by Swarthout and Kate Robinson in a span of 35 seconds put CUA back on top 9-7, and Mallory Vogel's score with 14:25 to play put the margin at three.

Cara Jeffries scored for Drew with 11:59 to go in the game to make it 10-8, but a free position goal by Swarthout with 11:18 remaining again put the Cardinals in front by three.

The Rangers refused to go away and again pulled within two when Coles found the back of the net with 10:35 on the clock, but Lindsay Davenport scored her 33rd goal of the year just 34 seconds later and the Cardinals were in front 12-9.

Two Drew goals in the final minute made things a little tighter than the Cardinals would have liked, but CUA was able to hold on and remain the only school to win the Landmark Conference title in the sport of women's lacrosse.

CUA out shot the Rangers 35-24 and picked up 24 ground balls to Drew's 22.  Both teams committed 18 fouls on the afternoon, while CUA dominated the draw, winning 18 of 24, including nine in each half. 

The Cardinals forced the Rangers into 20 turnovers, led by two caused turnovers apiece from Gabby Sena, Becky Borrell and Davenport and as a team CUA was 14 of 15 on clear attempts.  Drew was just 20 of 27 on clears.

Lauren Bernstein and Swarthout led the Cardinals in ground balls with three and Swarthout and Mary Robinson won five draw controls apiece.

Brown led Drew with three goals on the day, while Rachel Hanley stopped 14 shots in goal.

CUA, ranked eighth in the nation, will now wait to see where it plays next, when the 2011 NCAA Tournament field is announced on Sunday, May 8 at 9:30 p.m. on