TCNJ drops Franklin & Marshall
Lions rally by scoring seven consecutive goals
LANCASTER, PA -- The College of New Jersey’s aspirations for an undefeated season and a national championship stayed alive in improbable fashion as the Lions rallied from a pair of five-goal deficits to hand Franklin & Marshall a 14-13 defeat on Sunday.
The Lions trailed 12-7 with 16:24 remaining in the game, but ripped off seven consecutive goals to erase that margin and punch their ticket to the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championships where they will face Bowdoin in the semifinals.
The win put the Lions at 20-0 on the season as this team becomes the first in the program’s rich history to reach that 20-win plateau. They are also the lone undefeated team in the country after Bowdoin knocked off Trinity College, 9-6.
The Diplomats finished their season 19-3, with two of those losses coming at home to the Lions.
In the second half, the Lions were faced with that 12-7 deficit and junior Leigh Mitchell scored from a free position to get the rally started and Sara Keating circled the cage after a free-position attempt and sent a high shot into the cage making it 12-9.
The Lions used two more free-position goals to pull to within one as Kathleen Notos got the first and Alex Spark netted the second.
Notos then scored one of the biggest goals of her career rifling a shot to the upper part of the net and then scored an even bigger goal with 5:07 left in the game. That second goal gave TCNJ a 13-12 lead, which was its first advantage since the scored the game’s opening goal.
Spark added what turned out to be a valuable insurance goal with 3:50 left, but the Diplomats didn’t quit and they climbed to with 14-13 with 2:17 left.
A determined Alison Jaeger was then fouled tracking down the ensuing draw control giving the Lions possession and they were able to run the clock out and return to the national semis for the first time since 2008.
The loss by the Diplomats ended their four-year run of advancing to the semis, with two of them ending with national titles.