March 30, 2016
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A strong defensive effort and sophomore Julia Collins’ (Clarksville, Md.) four-goal performance helped lead the Navy women’s lacrosse team (6-4, 1-2 Patriot League) to defeat Lehigh (7-2, 2-1 PL), 11-5, Wednesday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“We were able to rise to the occasion with solid play on both sides of the ball to earn a tough victory over a red-hot Lehigh team,” Navy head coach Cindy Timchal said. “The players came as one and put together a well-played 60-minute game.”
Having scored just eight goals in the previous two games as a team, Julia Collins led Navy’s offense with a game-high four goals on five shots. Senior Katie Gallagher (Bel Air, Md.) and sophomore Jenna Collins (Clarksville, Md.) each chipped in with two, while freshman Meg O’Donnell (Forest Hill, Md.) came off the bench with a season-high three points on two goals and one assist.
On the defensive side of the ball, Navy limited Lehigh to just five goals on 12 shots and caused seven turnovers. Sophomore goalkeeper Ingrid Boyum (Herndon, Va.) stepped up in the second half, tallying six of her seven saves.
Lehigh jumped out to an early 2-0 lead through the first 11:16 of the contest. Senior captain Kendall Garden took her defender to the right side of the eight-meter cone and beat Boyum to the near post. Teammate Allison LaBeau followed up by capitalizing on the Mountain Hawks first free-position opportunity.
Navy, who had not scored since 14:00 left in the second half of the Holy Cross contest, scored its first goal with 17:38 left in the half and proceeded to score two more to grab its first lead of the game, 3-2, with 10:14 remaining in the stanza. Gallagher got the Mids started by wrapping around from behind the net and finished underneath the cross bar for her first of the contest. Julia Collins followed up six minutes later by beating her defender into the eight-meter cone and finished high. Gallagher capped the run by mirroring her first goal for her second of the contest.
The Mountain Hawks continued their success on their free-position chances, recording two more to regain the lead, 4-3, with 8:12 left. Haley Wentzel and Jane Henderson each scored during the run.
The Collins twins took over in the final five minutes of the half, combining for three goals to give Navy a 6-4 lead at the break. Jenna and Julia each scored off a free-position opportunity with Julia ending the half with her third goal of the contest.
Navy extended its lead to three, 7-4, to begin the second half as freshman Marie Valenti (Bechtelsville, Pa.) found her classmate O’Donnell wide open near the net, who finished the play low for her first of the game.
Lehigh cut the deficit to one, 7-5, with 23:36 left in the game as LaBeau scored on her second free-position chance.
The Mids however put up four more goals in the final 22:23 to lock up their first Patriot League win of the season. O’Donnell, Jenna and Julia Collins and Morgan Young all chipped in with a goal during the span. Navy’s defense also stepped up, holding Lehigh scoreless over the last 22:23 with just five shots on net and causing three turnovers.
With the win, Navy snapped its longest losing streak in program history of three and ended Lehigh’s seven-game winning streak, which was the longest active streak in the Patriot League.
Navy held advantages over Lehigh in shots, 23-16, ground balls, 15-12, and draw controls, 11-7.
Boyum finished the contest with seven saves on 12 chances to improve to 6-4 in net. The sophomore goalie recorded her ninth game with at least five saves.
Navy will look to continue its success on Saturday against archrival Army West Point in the first ever Army-Navy women’s lacrosse contest in West Point, New York. Opening draw is set for 12 noon and will be streamed live on PatriotLeague.TV.