By Anthony Caruso
The College’s women’s lacrosse team had a tough game in the middle of the week when on Wednesday, April 15, they hosted the No. 1 team in the country.
The Trinity College Bantams traveled from Hartford, Ct. to play the Lions. The visiting team traveled three-plus hours for the 7 p.m. game.
They traveled more time going back and forth than in actual game time, which lasted just an hour and 54 minutes. Yet, that did not matter, as the top-ranked team won 15-8, over the Lions.
“Playing against the top-ranked team in the country was a game we, the seniors, had been asking for since the end of last season,” senior attacker Kendal Borup said. “We made the most of our small victories, like caused turnovers and ground balls, and I think we ultimately learned a lot to prepare us for more competitive games in post-season.”
This was their first loss since Sunday, March 19, at Gettysburg College, where they lost 13-12 in overtime in Lancaster, Pa.
In the first half, the Lions jumped out to a 3-0 lead with goals by junior Courtney Natalicchio, Borup and sophomore Mia Blackman. Abby McQuillian made it 3-1 for the Bantams before senior Erin Healy and Blackman scored to make it 5-1 for the College.
But the Lions’ lead did not last long as Trinity College scored six straight goals to take the 7-5 lead at halftime.
Borup scored back-to-back goals to tie the game at seven before the Bantams went on another goal-scoring streak. They then scored eight-straight goals, including two more by Griffin and another one by McQuillian.
Natalicchio scored the final goal of the game with 37 seconds left.
Sophomore Kelly Schlupp picked up the loss after allowing 15 goals in 60 minutes. She made three saves.
On Saturday, April 18, the Lions returned to action at home against conference rival, Montclair State Redhawks. Like Wednesday night, the home team jumped out to an early lead – however, this time, it was a 5-0 lead.
With the win, the Lions are a perfect 4-0 in the conference and 11-3 overall. The Redhawks dropped to 4-1 within the conference and 8-5 overall.
“The Montclair State game was the biggest game for our conference this year,” Borup said. “Because we beat Montclair, we will be able to host the NJAC tournament, which gives us an important home field advantage. Montclair played really well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them again in the NJAC Finals.”
Natalicchio scored twice, while Borup, senior Ava Fitzgerald and Blackman also scored. Montclair’s Sophomore Francesca Verrone scored her 25th goal at 14:35 before Borup and Natalicchio added additional goals. Freshman Amanda Muller also scored, to make it 8-2 at the half.
Natalicchio began the second half with her 32nd goal of the season before Bussiere scored her 29th for Montclair. Borup scored her 54th before Erin Healy joined the party with her 13th to make it 11-3. Schlupp picked up the win while allowing seven goals in 60 minutes.
“We would not be doing as well as we have been this season if it was not for (Schlupp),” Natalicchio said. “She really steps it up in the big games and pulls through big for the team when we need her.”
On Tuesday, April 21, the Lions host the Richard Stockton Ospreys at 7 p.m. Then, on Thursday, April 23, the team hosts their final regular season game and also Senior Day against the Neumann University Knights at 7 p.m.