March 7, 2012
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Head coach Cindy Timchal became the first college lacrosse coach to win 400 career games by leading the Navy women's lacrosse team (6-1) to an 18-8 win over Robert Morris (1-4) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Timchal, who is already the NCAA's all-time wins leader with a career mark of 400-106 (.791), is the first men's or women's college lacrosse coach at any level to win 400 games.
"There is no other team that I would rather win my 400th game with than the one here at the United States Naval Academy," said Timchal, who is in her fifth season in Annapolis. "I'm proud of this moment, but this is really just a reflection of how the teams over the years have always been tough and have always played hard for victory."
Navy built up an early lead against Robert Morris in Timchal's milestone victory and overcame a late push by the Colonials in the second half to secure Navy's sixth straight win.
"We came out very strong today and we expected Robert Morris to come back and challenge us," Timchal said. "Robert Morris scored those two goals early in the second half, but we were able to come back again. Overall, I thought it was a very good game for us."
Freshman attack Loren Generi (Bayport, N.Y.) opened the game's scoring just 10 seconds after the opening draw and junior midfielder Kathy Young (Berwyn, Pa.) scored 11 seconds later on a free-position goal to give Navy a 2-0 lead just 21 seconds into the contest.
Back-to-back goals by sophomore attack Aimee Gennaro (Havertown, Pa.) had Navy up four just six minutes in and the Mids added three more goals by sophomore midfielder Jill Coughlin (Annapolis, Md.), Young and junior attack Jasmine DePompeo (Sayville, N.Y.) to take a 7-0 lead 12 minutes into the game.
Robert Morris made a run to cut the halftime lead to 10-4 and then opened the second with two straight goals to cut the margin down to four. However, Gennaro tallied her third of the game off an assist from DePompeo and Generi followed with a goal of her own to once again open the Navy lead.
Senior Danielle Vivonetto (Rocky Point, N.Y.) played a big role late in the game, scoring twice and giving out two assists in the final 14 minutes to keep Navy comfortably ahead in the 18-8 win.
Gennaro finished with a season-high five goals on just seven shots and also added three ground balls. After scoring six goals against Robert Morris in Navy's 16-5 win in 2011, the lefty has 11 in just two career games against the Colonials.
Young scored four times to increase her team lead in the category to 20 and also had a career-high eight draw controls. The playmaking DePompeo dished out three assists with one goal for four points and Generi found the back of the net three times and controlled four draws.
Senior goalie Elaina Ponchione (Silver Spring, Md.) earned her fourth win of the season by making six saves in the first half, including a very impressive stop about 15 minutes in. After a foul Ponchione was caught eight feet away from the goal and the Robert Morris attacker was 15 feet out with a wide open look at the net. On the restart whistle, the Colonial fired a low shot that Ponchione came back into the play and lunged at to save cleanly.
Junior goalie Michelle Verbeeck (Wading River, N.Y.) played the second half for Navy, logging three saves.
Navy held a wide margin in shots in the game at 38-22 and also led in draw controls (16-12) and ground balls (20-15). Navy was a near perfect 15-of-16 on clear attempts and used a tough transition defense to hold Robert Morris to 10-of-20 on clears.
Kristin Yoviene's two goals paced a Robert Morris attack that saw seven different players score.
Beginning with her first year at a brand new Northwestern program in 1982, Timchal has been a great ambassador and role model in the game of women's lacrosse. Timchal won 76 games in nine years at Northwestern (1982-1990), captured eight national championships and 260 wins in 16 years at Maryland (1991-2006) and has already won two league championships and 64 games in a little over four years at Navy (2008-Present). Nearly 20 of her former players are current college lacrosse coaches, including the head coaches at perennial powerhouse programs like as Northwestern, Maryland and Duke.
"When we were being recruited, we knew we had a great opportunity to be able to lay the foundation of a new program with her," said senior captain Kierstin King, whose two ground balls today made her the school's all-time leader in the category with 130. "She has so much experience and wisdom and we trust her so much. This is very special."
"I'm very proud of all my student-athletes and lacrosse players over the years who have reached their full potential and they've always played very hard for each other and I think that is the key to success," said Timchal, whose influence on the game has certainly been an important part of the sport's growing popularity.
"Division I lacrosse programs are being added to top schools across the country and we are getting close to 100 Division I women's programs. I think that is a true reflection of the love and the passion that the United States has for lacrosse and I am very proud to be at the only service academy that has Division I women's lacrosse."
Navy will begin its quest for a third straight Patriot League championship on Saturday when the team hosts Bucknell in its conference opener at 12 noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.