The Navy women’s lacrosse team secured a quarterfinal home game in the upcoming 2023 Patriot League Tournament with a 22-9 win over Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. This victory brought Navy’s record to 12-3 for the season, with six wins and one loss in the Patriot League. The game, presented by First Command, was also Senior Day for the Midshipmen, and the eight senior players, along with student assistant Maggie Cleary, were recognized before the match.

The Midshipmen tallied a season-high of 22 goals with a season-best of 12 assists in the win. Twelve different players found the back of the net, with four registering multiple scores. Leelee Denton led the way with five goals, while Ava Yovino and Emily Messinese added four and three goals, respectively. Lindsay Beardmore, Maggie DeFabio, Tori DiCarlo, and Lola Leone joined seniors Maggie Aumiller, Athena Corroon, Eloise Gebert, and Charlotte Ryan with goals.

Credit: Phil Hoffman / US Naval Academy

Yovino led the team with three assists, while Aumiller, DeFabio, and Ryan added two apiece. Denton, Messinese, and Katie Golbranson each added assists in the game.

Defensively, the Midshipmen caused 14 of the Crusaders’ 25 turnovers. Corroon led the defense with four caused turnovers, while Gabby Lavin and Messinese added two apiece. Morgan Lewis worked 57 and a half minutes in the cage for Navy, finishing with five saves. The team tallied 25 ground balls on the day.

Navy won the draw control battle, 19-14. Alyssa Daley won a team-high six draws, while Messinese added five draws. Golbranson contributed three draw controls with Yovino chipping in a pair.

For the Crusaders, Lauren Drillock led the way with five of the team’s nine goals. She added four ground balls while winning a team-best four draw controls. Tori Cini worked a complete game at goal, registering 10 saves and surrendering 22 goals.

Holy Cross was the first team to score, but Navy countered with back-to-back scores. Aumiller took a pass from fellow senior Ryan and buried it in the back of the net to knot the game at 1-1. DeFabio gave the Midshipmen the lead, converting an eight-meter opportunity. Following a Crusader score, the Mids used goals by Messinese and Gebert to give Navy a 4-2 advantage through one quarter of play.

The visitors pulled to within one, 4-3, just 11 seconds into the second quarter, but Yovino pushed the advantage back to two goals. Holy Cross used a free-position goal to trim the margin to one, 5-4, but an 11-1 run by Navy that extended into the third quarter gave the home team a decisive 16-5 lead.

DiCarlo started the run with Denton following with her first goal of the afternoon. Yovino and Isabelle Thornburg followed to push the advantage to five, 9-4. Leone and Denton closed out the first half with goals in the final 30 seconds to give Navy an 11-5 lead.

The second half began with Navy scoring the first five goals, with the first coming from Messinese just 29 seconds in. Holy Cross tallied two goals in a row, but Navy responded with another five goals. Holy Cross got two more goals, but Navy scored the last goal of the game, with Denton netting her fifth of the day.

In addition, the team’s defense was strong, causing 14 turnovers and grabbing 25 ground balls. Isabelle Thornburg, one of Navy’s midfielders, talked about the team’s strategy and how they executed it:

The win not only marked a special day for Navy’s seniors but also secured a quarterfinal home game for the Midshipmen in the upcoming 2023 Patriot League Tournament. Coach Timchal expressed her pride in the team and their accomplishments thus far this season:

Navy will now look to carry this momentum into their final regular-season game against the American Eagles on April 27. With a win in that game, the Midshipmen would clinch the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament.

Navy’s women’s lacrosse team dominated in their Senior Day game against Holy Cross, with a final score of 22-9. The Midshipmen had a strong offensive and defensive performance, with 12 different players scoring goals and causing 14 turnovers. The win secured at least a quarterfinal home game for Navy in the upcoming 2023 Patriot League Tournament, and the team is looking to continue their success in their final regular-season game against American on April 27.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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