Cardinals hang tough with TCNJ before falling 15-9 in regionals

Cardinals hang tough with TCNJ before falling 15-9 in regionals

LANCASTER, Pa. – Down 7-1 at halftime, CUA unleashed a second-half rally vs. TCNJ and pulled to within 11-8 with 17:51 remaining, but in the end the Lions outlasted the Cardinals 15-9 in the NCAA Regional semifinals on Saturday.  Kate Robinson, Mary Swarthout and Meghan Brady scored two goals apiece for CUA, which ends its season with a record of 15-4.

The Cardinals had a tough time getting much of anything going in the first half with TCNJ scoring the game's first three goals before Katie Buonpastore made it 3-1 with 16:33 to play before halftime.  That proved to be CUA's only goal of the half though and the Lions added four more to go in front 7-1 at intermission.

Lindsay Davenport got CUA off to a good start in the second half, with a free position goal 1:14 in to make it a 7-2 game.

Following two straight goals by the Lions, Swarthout and Robinson went back-to-back in less than a minute and the Cardinals were within 9-4 with 26:08 on the clock.

Kathleen Notos' score with 24:58 to play made it 10-4, but goals by Brady and Robinson in the next two minutes brought CUA to within 10-6 and things started to get interesting.

Leigh Mitchell made it a five-goal game when she scored with 21:41 to play, but again the Cardinals came back with two straight scores, this time from Sarah Lindell and Brady to make it an 11-8 game with 17:51 remaining.

Unfortunately that was as close as the Cardinals got as TCNJ showed why it is ranked No. 1 nationally in the latest poll and scored four straight times to open up a 15-8 advantage with less than six minutes to play.

Swarthout found the back of the net for the 65th time this season with 3:11 to play and that capped the scoring for the day.

The nine goals scored by CUA were the most TCNJ has allowed all season long.  The Lions came into the game allowing fewer than three scores per contest, which leads the country.

Bolstered by a 14-7 advantage in the first half, TCNJ outshot CUA 27-18 on the afternoon.  The Cardinals picked up 14 ground balls to 11 for the Lions, and both teams had their troubles clearing the ball with CUA going 4 of 13 and TCNJ 4 of 7, including just 2 of 5 in the first half.

TCNJ held a decided advantage in draw controls, winning 17 of 26 on the afternoon.

Megan Gormley led the Cardinals with three ground balls, while Swarthout was the team leader in draw controls with three.  Becky Borrell once again was terrific on the defensive end with a team-high four caused turnovers and in goal Yasmeen Ajdari came on in relief of Gabby Sena and stopped one shot in 25 minutes of play.  Sena played the first 35 minutes and sent back three shots.

Robinson finishes her incredible career at CUA with 268 goals, 383 points, 252 draw controls and 114 caused turnovers, all of which are school records. 

The 2011 CUA senior class compiled a career record of 62-20. With that group leading the way, CUA captured its fourth consecutive Landmark Conference title this season, won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight year and completed the Landmark schedule unblemished for the third time in four years.  In addition, CUA was nationally ranked all year long, topping out at No. 8.

TCNJ will now move on to take on Franklin and Marshall on Sunday afternoon after the host Diplomats outlasted Messiah in Saturday's first regional semifinal.