HOBOKEN, NJ– The 10th-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology women’s lacrosse team is the champion of the Empire 8 for the second time in as many years. The top-seeded Ducks (15-3) won a 10-9 thriller over third-seeded Ithaca College (11-6) on Sunday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex. Junior Ashley Carey (Mahopac, N.Y.) spearheaded a Stevens defense that was relentless in both tournament wins and was named the Empire 8 Championship MVP.
The Ducks jumped out to an early 6-2 lead and were in control throughout the game’s first 20 minutes. Sophomore Spencer Waybright (West Hartford, Conn.), senior Pamela Loria (New Providence, N.J.), senior Leah Wasserman (Monmouth Beach, N.J.), Waybright again, Loria again, and junior Michelle Buonacuore (Medford, N.J.) had the Stevens goals in the early going.
Ithaca was able to come roaring back over the final 10:13 of the first, outscoring the Ducks 5-1 over the span to tie the game. Junior Nicole Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) had two goals in the spurt and sophomore Tracy Rivas (East Meadow, N.Y.) notched the equalizer with 3.2 seconds to play before intermission.
The second half did not see an advantage of more than one goal either way and was dominated by strong defense and goaltending. Waybright tallied her third goal of the game 8:35 into the second half to put the Ducks up one, but Borisenok answered 1:12 later to tie the score at eight.
After a Stevens turnover with 16:50 in regulation, Ithaca was trying to clear the zone but was unable to do so because Wasserman intercepted an outlet pass and buried her shot to once again give the Ducks the lead on what was a great play.
Borisenok tallied for the fourth time with 10:54 left to tie the game at nine, but Loria was able to put home the game-winner with 6:10 to go after several dodges and moves. It was Loria’s third goal of the game and 40th of the season.
From that point on, the Ducks’ “D” did not allow Ithaca to again ring the bell and Stevens was able to maintain possession for the final 2:23 of game time.
Sophomore Meg Collins (Marshfield, Mass.), who came on in the second half, was marvelous in goal for the Ducks. She made eight saves in her 30 minutes of action and picked up one ground ball. Five of her eight stops came on free-position attempts for the Bombers and her strong play visibly flustered the Ithaca attack.
Carey finished with three ground balls, three caused turnovers, and two draw controls to lead the Stevens defense. Senior Kate Cox (Aston, Pa.), junior Lindsay Daly (Kings Park, N.Y.), and sophomore Teegan Kelly (Charlton, N.Y.) were all strong as well.
Waybright finished with three goals and a ground ball, while Loria tallied three times as well. Wasserman had two goals, one ground ball and one monster caused turnover, and Buonacuore had a goal and two assists. Freshman Kara Rafferty (Bayshore, N.Y.) scored once, while junior Jenna Scheibling (Long Valley, N.J.) had an assist and two draw controls. Senior Christine Smith (East Northport, N.Y.) also notched an assist, scooped up one ground ball, and played solid defense out of her midfield position.
Borisenok led Ithaca with four goals, while senior Katie Hurley (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.) had three. Rivas had two goals and two assists, and senior Ali DeCirce (Binghamton, N.Y.) handed out a pair of helpers.
Ithaca ended with a 24-19 shot advantage, but the Ducks held a 14-9 ground ball margin. Ithaca was 1-for-9 on free-position attempts, while the Ducks were 0-for-1. The Bombers won 13-of-20 draw controls.
Stevens has now defeated Ithaca the last two years in the conference final and has won 19 of its last 20 games against Empire 8 opponents the last three years. The program will be making its third appearance in the NCAA’s.
About Stevens Institute of Technology
Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research. The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.
Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts. Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world. Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news.