ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse team led by four goals entering the final 6:07 of regulation, but #13/19 Navy came from behind to score five straight in the final minutes to defeat SJU, 12-11, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 0-2 after opening the season against nationally-ranked competition while the Midshipmen improve to 1-1.
In her first start of the season, sophomore goalkeeper Corinne Buttner made a career-high 16 saves.
Senior attacker Francesca Donato posted a team-high five points on one goal and a team-high four assists while senior attacker Rebecca Lane, sophomore attacker Sam McGee, and freshman midfielder Olivia Little scored two goals apiece.
Navy opened the game with an unassisted score (27:49) before Saint Joseph's responded with back-to-back goals from Donato (26:42) and Lane (26:12) for the Hawks' first lead of the game.
The Midshipmen equalized (24:05) before Little put away her first collegiate goal to put the Hawks back on top, 3-2, at the 22:42 mark.
Navy then scored three in a row to take a 5-3 advantage into the final 17:15 of the first half.
Sophomore midfielder Taylor Newman-Farr (13:28) and McGee (7:20) both hit the back of the net to balance out the score, but Navy's Kelly Harris scored her second goal of the half with 6:25 to go to send the Midshipmen into the lockerroom with a one-goal edge.
The Hawks came out of the halftime break absolutely firing as they scored six of the first seven goals of the second half to take a commanding 11-7 advantage into the final 7:18 of play; Lane kicked off the run with the 6-6 equalizer (29:12) before Donato dished out helpers to both McGee (27:49) and sophomore midfielder Bridget Cerciello (25:38).
Navy broke up the three-goal run with Annalise Heyward's first of the day (24:47) before sophomore attacker Stephanie Kelly scored (19:53) and Donato dished out her second pair of assists, to rookie midfielders Sophia Kolkka (12:26, first collegiate goal) and Little (7:18).
From that point, Navy's offense hit the back of the net on its next five consecutive shots, and the first four of those goals came within 1:59 of each other (6:07, 5:36, 5:10, 4:08), with three from Heyward.
With the game knotted at 11-11 with 4:08 remaining in regulation, Heyward won the ensuing draw control to gain possession for the Midshipmen.
With 24 seconds off the clock, Navy drew a foul inside the eight, but Kelly Larkin didn't take the shot off of the free position attempt and instead dished it off to Kayla Harris, who netted the eventual game-winner with 3:37 to play.
Navy won the ensuing draw control and took one final shot on goal, but Buttner made her 16th save of the game (2:11) to keep SJU to within one entering its final possession.
Cerciello caused a Midshipmen turnover and Lane scooped up the ground ball with 1:30 to play, but shots by both Kelly and junior midfielder Penny Green would go on to be blocked in the final possession.
Navy held a 37-28 edge in shot possession while the game was nearly even in ground balls (Navy 24, SJU 23). The Midshipmen earned 16 of the game's 25 possessions from the draw circle and forced 19 SJU turnovers while the Hawks' defensive unit held Navy scoreless in five eight-meter opportunities.
Cerciello (5) and Lane (4) combined for nine ground balls while Kolkka was good for two ground balls and a team-high three caused turnovers on the afternoon.
Saint Joseph's returns home to host Temple (1-2) this Wednesday, February 20. Opening draw control is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Sweeney Field.