Dartmouth 9, Syracuse 8

May 12, 2005

HANOVER, N.H. - Senior Katieanne Christian (Agawam, Mass.) scored five goals and helped the No. 5 Dartmouth women's lacrosse team rally past No. 12 Syracuse, 9-8, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday at Scully-Fahey Field.

The Big Green (15-2) will now face No. 4 Georgetown (13-4) in the second round on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Scully-Fahey Field. The Hoyas were 15-14 winners over Towson on Thursday.

Dartmouth trailed at the half, 7-4, and tied its largest comeback this season. It was also the first time in three tries the Big Green overcame a halftime deficit to win.

Two goals from Christian and one by sophomore Whitney Douthett (Newtown, Pa.) helped Dartmouth forge a 3-1 lead by 24:38 of the first. Syracuse (12-5) countered with a pair of goals to tie the game, and Christian's third goal gave the Big Green its last lead of the half, 4-3, at 17:53. However, the Orange turned up the offensive pressure and rattled off four straight tallies to take a 7-4 halftime lead.

Dartmouth went into a defensive lockdown in the second half, allowing only one goal on three shots on the cage. During a span of 8:30, the Big Green also made up the three-goal deficit and re-took the lead.

Sophomore Jen Pittman (New Canaan, Conn.) started the rally with a goal off a free position shot at 27:41. Christian then made it 7-6 after catching the ball about 10 feet outside the top of the arc, spinning and driving past defenders, and beating Syracuse goalie Jen Kasel at 24:31.

Pittman fired home her second goal at 20:25 to knot the score, and junior Kristen Zimmer (Alexandria, Va.) put the Big Green back on top at 19:11 off a helper from sophomore Sarah Szefi (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

"I thought our kids really responded in the second half," Dartmouth head coach Amy Patton said.

At 16:09, the Big Green padded its lead when Christian lost the ball near the Syracuse crease, but neither side was able to recover the ground ball as it bounced past Kasel and into the cage.

Syracuse's Allison Furstenburg bounced a shot past Dartmouth junior goalie Devon Wills (Denver, Colo.) at 14:28 to make it a 9-8 game before both teams began eating the clock.

With about 10 minutes left, the Orange started a possession in the Dartmouth end that lasted for two minutes, but Syracuse was able to fire off only one shot before the Big Green took control. As Dartmouth passed the ball around looking for an open shot on net, 4:30 elapsed from the clock and Syracuse began to press.

Syracuse eventually recovered a turnover at 2:30 but was able to fire off only one shot over the next two minutes, and Zimmer took the ball away with 30 seconds remaining and helped the Big Green wind down the clock.

"I can't say enough about our defense in the second half," Patton said. "We made some big stops at the end."

"If we play the kind of game we're capable of playing and play consistently, take our second half today and play that way for an entire game, we have a reason to be very confident," senior Erin Osborn (Holyoke, Mass.) said.

The Big Green improved to 10-0 at home this season behind seven saves from Wills. Kasel had seven stops for the Orange.

Dartmouth is now 6-9 in NCAA Tournament games.

-- Courtesy Dartmouth