he Elizabethtown College women’s lacrosse team defeated Lebanon Valley College 12-10 Saturday afternoon at Wolf Field. It was a regular season finale for both teams, and with the win, Etown not only directly advanced to the semifinals, but also ranked third seed in the Commonwealth Conference Championship.
Before facing the Dutchmen, Head Coach Robert Brooks described the team’s preparations. “We are looking at video of our opponent LVC and putting together a scout so that the team is prepared fully prior to stepping on the field for Saturday’s game. Expectations for the game are to come out with a win using a solid defensive presence and controlled offense, which will put us in the third seed, avoiding a play-in game situation the following Tuesday,” he said.
The Blue Jays were determined heading into the game. Not only would they be honoring the team’s 11 seniors, but the game also had important playoff implications.
Etown got off to a hot start with four consecutive goals. Sophomore Leigh Anne Flounlacker nabbed her 61st goal of the season and the first goal of the game about three minutes into the game. Sophomore Andrea Russo scored on a free position goal, and Flounlacker tallied her second goal of the game to put Etown up 3-0. Senior Maddy Jackson then scored on a man-up situation.
LVC finally got on the board with two goals. However, sophomore Caitlin Knight increased the lead back to three with her first goal of the game. Flounlacker then scored two goals to put the Jays up 7-3 close to halftime, but LVC’s Anna Pagels scored shortly before halftime to bring the score to 7-4.
LVC came out on fire after halftime, adding three goals in the first ten minutes, tying the game 7-7. Senior Becky Porter got a goal back at the 16:43 mark. However, LVC scored two goals in a row to take the lead, but the Blue Jays came right back with two points of their own made by junior Katie Reeb and Knight.
With only a few minutes remaining in the game, Etown held the 10-9 advantage, but LVC’s Mel Modrick scored the equalizer. Porter grabbed a goal to put the Blue Jays ahead once again, and Russo put the game out of reach with her goal in the last two minutes of the game.
The win was an important one for the team. “This game against Lebanon Valley this weekend is our senior game, and it is very important that we win. We need to win for our 11 seniors, but we also need to beat LVC to get the third seed in our conference. We must win,” junior Bari Rosenstein said. “We are going to make it to the postseason tournament. When we beat LVC, we will be the third seed. If we lose we will be the fourth seed.”
Senior Rachael Waldman put forth a strong effort in the goal, picking up 12 saves, seven of those in the second half. Senior and Etownian Sports Editor Alexis Morris led the defense with four groundballs and two caused turnovers.
For the 11 seniors, this game was extremely emotional. This class of players saw Etown win its first women’s lacrosse conference championship in 2010, and they contributed to the team’s championship win last year.
As third seed, Etown will play against the second seed Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., Thursday, May 2 at 4 p.m.