HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Tenth-ranked Stevens earned a key 11-10 conference win against Ithaca on Saturday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex. With the win, Stevens improves to 3-0 in the Empire 8 and 8-2 overall, while Ithaca falls to 3-1 and 5-3.

Stevens dominated possession in the first half and went into intermission with an 8-4 lead. The Ducks controlled 8 of 13 draws and ended the opening period with a 20-8 advantage in shots and an 11-7 edge in ground balls.

Senior Christine Smith scored a free-position goal to put the Ducks on top 1-0 2:19 into the game but 4:05 later senior Katie Hurley pulled the Bombers even thanks to an assist from sophomore Tracy Rivas.

The Ducks answered with a 4-0 run during a span of 10:42 to open a five-goal lead with a little more than 10 minutes to play in the first. Junior Michelle Buonacuore, sophomore Spencer Waybright (two), and freshman Kara Rafferty accounted for the scores in the run with Buonacuore and junior Jenna Scheibling recording assists.

Rivas brought the Bombers within three (5-2) but Buonacuore had the answer thanks to a feed from junior defender Ashley Carey. Ithaca tallied a pair of goals to cut the Stevens lead to two with 1:40 left in the half, but goals from senior Pamela Loria and Smith over the final 1:40 upped the lead back to four and sent Stevens into the locker room with an 8-4 advantage.

Smith opened the second half with her third and fourth tallies to help the Ducks open up a 6-4 lead but Ithaca roared back with four-straight goals to trim the margin to two at 10-8 with 15:57 to play in the contest. Junior Nicole Borisenok and Hurley each netted a pair in the run to help the Bombers get back within striking distance.

Following Hurley’s third goal of the afternoon the two teams went on to play scoreless lacrosse for 12-plus minutes with both defenses and goalkeepers making big plays to keep the score at 10-8. Senior Leah Wasserman was able to convert a free-position attempt into a goal with 3:18 left to end a 20:24 scoring drought for the Ducks and provide some breathing room but Ithaca did not quit.

Borisenok tallied her fourth goal of the game on a free-position shot with 2:28 left and senior Ali DeCirce made it a one-goal game with 1:46 left thanks to Ithaca’s fourth free-position tally of the second half.

Senior defender Kate Cox was able to secure the ensuing draw control for Stevens and the Ducks never gave up possession the rest of the way to secure the key conference win. Stevens now has sole possession of first place in the Empire 8 standings at 3-0, with Ithaca in second at 3-1.

The Ducks dominated possession and ended the game with a 41-21 edge in shots but could never pull away because of strong goalkeeping from sophomore Jess Worthman. Worthman made 18 saves in the game and limited Stevens to 4-for-14 on free-position attempts. The Ducks controlled 13 of 23 draws and had a 16-11 edge in ground balls.

Rivas (one goal, three assists) and Borisenok (four goals) led Ithaca with four points each. Hurley tallied three goals and DeCirce added two.

Stevens was led by Smith’s four goals, three ground balls, two caused turnovers, and one draw control. Buonacuore added three points (two goals, one assist), while Waybright tallied twice, had a team-high three draw controls, and one ground ball. Wasserman scored one goal, had two ground balls, two draw controls, and two caused turnovers in a solid performance, while Loria scored once, handed out one assists and caused a turnover.

Sophomore Joey Galligan had two ground balls, two draw controls and a caused turnover for the Ducks, while Cox had three ground balls, one huge draw control, and one caused turnover. Scheibling finished with three draw controls and an assist.

Sophomore Meg Collins played a solid game in goal for the Ducks. She was credited with six saves, with several coming late in the second half.