NORFOLK, Va. - Junior midfielder Julia Falcone recorded a career-high five goals, but the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse team (3-4) ultimately fell at Old Dominion, 18-11, on Sunday afternoon at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk, Va.
Trailing 5-0 after Old Dominion (3-5) scored five unanswered goals throughout the first 10:02, Saint Joseph's answered back as senior attack Val Paolucci took control and netted back-to-back SJU goals within 55 seconds of one another to pull the Hawks to within three, 5-2, with 16:53 remaining in the first half of play.
Just over four minutes later, Paolucci found Falcone for the junior's first tally of the game to further close SJU's deficit, 5-3, with just under 13 minutes left in the first.
The Lady Monarchs then went on a 4-1 run to extend their lead back to five goals, 9-4, heading into the half. Paolucci registered SJU's lone goal during that run as the senior boasted a phenomenal four-point half on three goals and one assist to contribute on every scoring play of the first 30:00.
Coming out of the half, Old Dominion went on a 5-1 run that spanned the first 5:10 to further extend the home team's lead, 14-5.
However, Saint Joseph's would put together a run of its own as the Hawks tallied four unaswered goals to pull to within five, 14-9, with 16:20 remaining in regulation. Falcone tallied two of her five goals and sophomore attack Bonnie McShane dished out a pair of assists during that run.
The Lady Monarchs added another pair of goals and owned a 16-9 lead heading into the final five minutes of regulation, but Saint Joseph's continued to chip away. Falcone netted her career-high fifth goal of the game and freshman midfielder Sarah Smith tallied her second collegiate goal, both on dishes from junior midfielder Hannah Hutchins, to pull the Hawks to within five, 16-11, heading into the final 2:37 of play.
However, Old Dominion would add two more goals for security and that score, 18-11, would stand as time expired.
For the game, Old Dominion held a slight edge in shots, 32-29, although the Hawks outshot the Lady Monarchs 18-13 in the second half. Old Dominion also held a 22-18 edge in ground balls and turned the ball over three times more than SJU, 23-20. Saint Joseph's struggled at the draw in the first half as the Lady Monarchs claimed 11 of 14 possible possessions en route to outscoring the Hawks 9-4 in the opening 30:00; SJU improved on the draw controls in the second half to own a 9-8 edge in the latter half.
Saint Joseph's was led by a combined eight-goal effort from Paolucci and Falcone; Paolucci led the way in the opening 30:00 as she tallied all three of her goals in the first half while Falcone netted four of her five tallies in the final 30:00. The duo also combined for 19 of SJU's 29 total shots. Sophomore attack Emily Bowers registered a pair of assists and has now recorded at least one point in 12 consecutive games dating back to April 7 of last season.
Sophomore goalkeeper Genevieve Giblin (3-4) made five saves and added three ground balls in a full-game effort for the Crimson and Gray.
Saint Joseph's returns home next Sunday, March 23 to host Campbell at 1:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field.