No. 1 TCNJ drives past Salisbury
Waller had a career-high 16 saves in the win
Salisbury, Md. -- The College of New Jersey women's lacrosse team solidified its hold on the top spot in the latest Division III poll as the Lions started fast and never looked back dealing second-ranked Salisbury University an 11-6 loss on Sunday.
A pair of seniors highlighted the biggest win of the season as Ali Jaeger became the program's all-time leading scorer with a goal in the first half and goalie Mary Waller thwarted the Sea Gulls on numerous occasions as she finished with a career-best 16 saves.
The win elevates TCNJ's record to 12-0 on the year and they are a perfect 3-0 against opponents ranked in the top 10, while the Sea Gulls dipped to 13-2, as they fell on their home field for the first time this season.
The Lion offense got the early jump scoring the game's first six goals as with sophomore Alex Spark starting that surge cashing in on a feed from Leigh Mitchell 2:49 into the contest. After Kathleen Notos converted on another assist from Mitchell, Jaeger took over as the program's all-time leading scorer with an unassisted goal with less than five minutes expired.
The point was Jaeger's 318th as she moved past former TCNJ standout Lauren Dougher (2003-06) as the most prolific scorer in program history. The current Lion then began extending the new record minutes later as she tallied her second of the game extending the lead to 4-0.
TCNJ pushed the difference to 6-0 as the hosts finally got onto the scoreboard with an even 16 minutes left in the half.
The Lions made it 7-1 on a free-position goal by freshman Jen Garavente, but Salisbury stormed back.
The Sea Gulls netted the next two goals trimming the margin to 7-3, but Waller came up with a huge save with 1:31 remaining denying Allie Wheatley on a free-position attempt for her 10th and final save of the opening frame.
TCNJ protected its lead in a much tighter second half, but were tested by a small Salisbury run as the hosts cut the difference to 9-6 following back-to-back goals. Spark then brought an end to that run as she netted her second of the game with 6:03 remaining.
Mitchell iced the win with 1:06 left making it an 11-6 score, but Waller made one final statement in the final minute as she picked up two more key saves.
Garavente led a very balanced attack for the Lions with three goals as six different players scored in the win. Mitchell, Jaeger, and Spark each scored twice, while Mitchell had a game-high four assists.
Jaeger's two goals give her 319 points in her career as she has 236 goals and 83 assists. Those 236 goals are also a school record.