EWING, N.J. – The St. Mary’s College of Maryland women’s lacrosse team gave the seventh-ranked Lions of The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) all that they could handle but came up short on a muggy, hot Sunday afternoon in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament on TCNJ’s campus.
St. Mary’s College (13-6) dropped a 20-12 decision to the Lions (16-2), who now advance to the third round to face No. 16 SUNY Cortland (17-4) on May 21.
This was the Seahawks ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2016.
How It Happened
- St. Mary’s fell behind 6-0 in the first six minutes of the game before sophomore attacker Bella Dunigan (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville) put the Seahawks on the scoreboard off an assist from senior attacker Lucy Gussio (Baldwin, Md./Notre Dame Prep) at 7:35.
- Gussio then converted a free position shot over a minute later for her 75th goal of the season, pulling her team within 6-2.
- The Lions scored the next two before first-year attacker Hailey Betch (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) found the back of the net off a Gussio pass to keep St. Mary’s within reach, 8-3, with 3:48 remaining in the first. TCNJ tacked on one more to head into the second frame with a six-goal lead.
- Betch struck two minutes again into the second period off a pass from senior attacker Susanna Schmidt (Poolesville, Md./Poolesville) for a 10-4 contest. The Lions closed out the first half on a 2-0 run to claim a 12-4 halftime advantage.
- The tables turned in the third quarter as the Seahawks won the frame, 4-3, including scoring three in a row after the two teams alternated the first two goals of the second half to close the gap to 13-8 with 4:26 remaining in the third.
- TCNJ would tally the next two goals in a 14-second span to pull ahead by seven (15-8) heading into the final and fourth quarter.
- Jennifer LaRocca had a hand in TCNJ’s first four goals of the fourth to stretch the Lion lead to 19-9 with 9:49 remaining in the game.
- A free-position goal by Schmidt sparked a 3-0 run by St. Mary’s in a two-minute span to stop the running clock and trim the deficit to 19-12 with 6:04 on the clock.
- The Lions notched their final goal at the 5:33-minute mark, but the visitors were unable to generate any solid offense to pull any closer.
Inside the Box Score
- The Seahawks were just the fourth team this season to score in double digits against TCNJ.
- St. Mary’s claimed a 16-15 edge in ground balls, but they were outshot 38-32.
- The Lions earned a 22-14 margin in draw controls as Sabrina Phillips grabbed a game-best eight draws.
- The Seahawks caused seven of TCNJ’s 11 turnovers with senior defender Stephanie Heffron (Bowie, Md./St. John’s College) and sophomore midfielder MC Mortimer (Baltimore, Md./Friends) each causing a pair. Heffron also added four ground balls.
- In the final game of her career, Gussio tallied seven points on three goals and four assists. She finishes her career with 166 goals and 93 assists for 259 points.
- Schmidt and first-year midfielder Colin Horton (University Park, Md./Elizabeth Seton) each chipped in two goals and one helper while Betch finished the game with five draw controls and three goals.
- Sophomore goalie Maddie Clemmer (Middletown, Md./Middletown) made nine saves in goal for the Seahawks.
- LaRocca produced eight points on five goals and three assists while Julia Charest came up with nine stops as well in the Lions’ fifth consecutive win.
Up Next for the Seahawks
- Season Complete