The Blue Jays of Elizabethtown College received votes in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s preseason Division III poll, and were thought to be knocking on the door of the Top 20.
Saturday, the defending NCAA champions slammed the door shut – for now, at least.
Elizabethtown took an early two-goal lead on No. 1 Salisbury in the first three minutes of Sunday’s game at Franklin & Marshall’s Tylus Field in Lancaster, Pa., but the Sea Gulls rallied to score eight of the next nine goals and didn’t look back in a 16-6 win over the Blue Jays to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Senior attacker Trish DiGirolomlo had a goal and three assists during that initial surge, then added two more goals and three more helpers in a 6-0 Salisbury run to close the game, finishing with a career-high nine points. Coming off of a seven-point effort in the Sea Gulls’ season-opening victory over Frostburg State on February 19, DiGirolomo has 16 points in Salisbury’s first two games, more than a quarter of her point total from last season (59). Meanwhile, the Sea Gulls have devoured their first two opponents, winning by a combined score of 37-10.
The level of competition for the reigning champs is about to rise, however. On Wednesday, the Sea Gulls will host Adrian in their season opener, with the Bulldogs coming off a 17-goal effort on Saturday in a heartbreaking 18-17 loss to Christopher Newport in their season opener. Then, Salisbury will face its first ranked opposition of the season when it travels to No. 13 Catholic on Sunday at 1 p.m., and will return home to start its Capital Athletic Conference season against No. 16t Mary Washington on March 9.
Need to Know
• The top four teams in Division I faced off in a pair of marquee matchups this weekend, and the biggest winner was the reigning NCAA Champion. No. 1 Maryland got goals from eight different players – including five apiece from sophomore midfielder Katie Schwarzmann and junior attacker Karri Ellen Johnson – and outscored No. 4 Duke 9-4 in the second half en route to an 18-11 victory over the ACC rival Blue Devils on Saturday. The night before, No. 2 Northwestern and No. 3 North Carolina needed overtime to decide things, and sophomore Taylor Thornton scored the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in overtime to give the Wildcats a 7-6 win over the Tar Heels. UNC took a 5-3 lead 11:24 into the second half, but Shannon Smith scored her third and fourth goals of the game to tie it up, and the Tar Heels and Wildcats exchanged goals in the last six minutes to set up overtime and Thornton’s heroics.
• Reigning NCAA Division II Champion Adelphi started the 2011 campaign hot, both on the thermometer and on the field. The Panthers traveled to Winter Park, Fla., last week to open their title defense against Rollins College, and came home with a decisive 21-9 victory. Senior midfielder Kaitlyn Carter, a two-time All-American performer for the Panthers, led the way in the victory with six goals and an assist, finding the net on every one of her shots. Not to be denied as well was junior midfielder Claire Petersen, as the eigning Northeast 10 Player of the Year scored on five of her eight shots and added an assist of her own. After enjoying the 81-degree weather in the Sunshine State, the Panthers open their home schedule on March 12, when they take on Philadelphia.
• Ranked 15th in the IWLCA Division III Preseason Poll, Washington and Lee has had plenty of drama early in the season. After opening the season with an 18-17 overtime win over No. 16 Mary Washington, the Generals played their second one-goal game of the season on Sunday, as Wilton Megargel scored her fourth goal of the game with 18 seconds remaining in regulation to give WLU a 10-9 win over Stevenson. Megargel, who also added an assist in the victory, has come out of the gate hot, with 13 goals in the Generals’ first three games. She’ll look to keep her momentum going on Saturday, when WLU plays its first home game of the season, hosting No. 3 Franklin & Marshall.
• After being held to eight goals in a season-opening loss to Loyola, preseason No. 7 Virginia had an offensive explosion this past week, with junior Charlie Finnigan leading the way. The junior from Twickenham, Middlesex, England, scored four goals in the Cavaliers’ 23-13 win over Richmond on Wednesday, then scored five goals and added three assists on Sunday in a 21-8 win over Syracuse.
• No. 5 Limestone remains a Division II offensive juggernaut in the early season, as Katie Farrell scored four goals to pace the Saints’ effort in an 18-4 win over St. Andrews Presbyterian. The Saints have outscored their opposition 39-4 in their first two games, moving to 2-0 in Conference Carolinas play, and will step out of conference play for six games before its next Conference Carolinas game against Pfeiffer University on March 24.
• Three different players recorded career-high scoring efforts for No. 5 Gettysburg on Thursday, as sophomore Lindsay Robinson, junior Hannah Church and senior Marnie Commins each tallied five goals in a 17-6 win over No. 16 Mary Washington. It was the biggest season-opening win since 2003 for the Bullets, who will face Elizabethtwon on Saturday before heading to Orlando, Fla., for a Spring Break trip that will see them face No. 10 Stevens and No. 2 Hamilton.
• Preseason No. 13 Stanford hasn’t had much come easy in its season-opening surge. The Cardinal recorded its third one-goal win in four games on Sunday, battling back from a deficits of 2-0, 9-5 and 17-16 to get an 18-17 win over Harvard to close out a 4-0 season-opening homestand.