SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The Susquehanna women’s lacrosse team saw its historic season come to an end on Wednesday afternoon as the 11th-ranked Crusaders fell 15-7 to No. 17 SUNY Geneseo in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Tournament.
SU (17-1) suffered just its first loss of the season after capturing its first-ever Landmark Conference championship title last Saturday. SUNY Geneseo (13-5) now moves on to the second round of the tournament. Susquehanna, meanwhile, ends its season with a program-record 17 victories.
The Crusaders got the game started with back-to-back goals, first from Brynn Reid (West Grove, Pa./Avon Grove) and followed by a score from Emma Ehler (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) for a 2-0 SU lead after six minutes of play.
Geneseo’s Caroline Buoncore responded with back-to-back goals of her own to knot the game at 2-2 with 17:30 left to play. Those goals were part of a 5-0 Knights stretch that put them ahead by a 5-2 score with 9:08 remaining. Buoncore went on to finish with a game-high six goals.
“They [SUNY Geneseo] are a good team,” Susquehanna head coach Laura Moan said about the Knights’ 5-0 run. “They got over their nerves and they controlled the game for a stretch.”
Ehler broke that stretch with a goal at the 5:59 mark for a 5-3 game but Geneseo was able to close out the half with three unanswered goals to hold an 8-3 halftime edge.
The Knights promptly came out of halftime and scored the first four goals of the second half to increase their lead to nine (12-3) with 20 minutes still to play.
The Crusaders refused to give in and rattled off a streak of four goals over an eight-minute span to close the gap to 12-7 with 8:42 remaining.
“Our team didn’t give up,” junior midfielder Michelle McGinniss (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) said. “We knew we had it in us and we didn’t want to go down like that.”
Unfortunately Geneseo netted three insurance goals over the final 5:39 of the game to clinch the 15-7 victory.
The teams were nearly even in shots with SU edging Geneseo by a 37-36 mark. The SU defense also forced 21 turnovers by the Knights.
Ehler and Reid each finished with two goals apiece with Ehler recording a team-high 13 shots. McGinniss had one goal, three ground balls and eight draw control wins.
Senior goalie Emily Stankaitis (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) finished with seven saves.