ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy women's lacrosse team (11-2, 2-0 PL) opened the second half on a 7-0 run and cruised past California (4-5, 2-2 MPSF), 15-5, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Wednesday evening. Junior attack Jasmine DePompeo (Sayville, N.Y.) tallied seven points on two goals and five assists and Navy notched one of its finest defensive efforts of the season.
"After playing a tough game at Northwestern on Sunday, we really wanted to show that we were a better team for playing that game and I think we demonstrated that today," head coach Cindy Timchal said. "Cal has been playing great and scoring a lot of points and as a defensive unit, we felt this was one of our strongest performances of the year. I was very pleased with Dominique Wright's matchup defensively on their top scorer and Elaina Ponchione really got us going with her play in goal in the first half and Michelle Verbeeck made some great saves in the second."
The Mids certainly did have a great game defensively, as they held a team scoring 14.12 goals per game to just five on Wednesday night. One of the biggest factors was senior defender Dominique Wright (Washington, D.C.), who did an excellent job defensively on Cal's Megan Takacs, holding the attacker to just two goals and throwing off Cal's offensive game plan. Takacs is the nation's leading goal-scorer and averages 4.38 goals a game.
Neither team could get anything going offensively to start the game. It took over 10 minutes for the game's first goal, which was tallied by Navy's Aimee Gennaro (Haverford, Pa.) off an assist from DePompeo. It took five more minutes for another score, as Cal evened the game with 14:35 to go in the first half before Navy started to catch fire.
The Mids went on a 4-0 run, with freshman Loren Generi (Bayport, N.Y.) scoring off a nice feed from DePompeo, followed by two goals by freshman Jess Fellows (Vienna, Va.) and a goal by DePompeo. Cal then scored back-to-back tallies to cut the lead to 5-3, but junior Kathy Young (Berwyn, Pa.) scored on a free-position shot with just 18 seconds remaining in the first half to send the Mids into the break leading by three.
Navy ensured that the second half would not start as slowly as the first by piecing together a 3-0 spurt in the span of just 39 seconds. DePompeo scored on 26:35, Gennaro added a strike just 12 seconds later and then Young converted another free-position attempt at 25:56. However, the Mids weren't done, as Generi scored back-to-back goals, with DePompeo assisting on each, and then junior Beth Young (Berwyn, Pa.) and twin sister Kathy each scored to cap off a 7-0 run to open the second and put Navy ahead, 13-3.
California would add two goals late in the second, but the Mids answered right back, first on a goal by sophomore Molly Hamilton (New Albany, Ohio) off of DePompeo's fifth assist and then senior Danielle Vivonetto (Rocky Point, N.Y.) found the back of the net off a feed from Generi to give Navy its 10-goal victory.
DePompeo's seven points moved her into sole possession of third place on Navy's all-time scoring chart with 171 points (92 g, 79 a) and the five assists equaled her career high. DePompeo is a member of the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List and is fifth in the country in total points.
"I think we bounced back very well after losing to Northwestern on Sunday," DePompeo said. "We saw what adjustments needed to be made and even from coming out a little slow in the first half in this game, we were able to improve in the second half and find some open opportunities."
DePompeo continues to lead Navy in both total points (54) and assists (30).
Generi notched four points on three goals and one assist and also had nine draw controls. Generi now has 76 draw controls on the season, the second best single season total in school history. She entered the week ranked fifth in the nation in draw controls per game.
Kathy Young finished the game with a hat trick, her ninth of the season, and she leads the team with 37 goals.
Senior captain Kierstin King (Upperco, Md.) contributed five ground balls and two caused turnovers to Navy's defensive effort and defender Brijet Mall (Cumming, Ga.) caused a career best two turnovers.
Starting goalie Elaina Ponchione (Silver Spring, Md.) improved to 9-2 on the season, making four saves and allowing three goals in the first half. Junior Michelle Verbeeck (Wading River, N.Y.) played the first 27:44 of the second half, making four saves and allowing just two goals before junior Charlotte Hauser (Greenfield Center, N.Y.) closed out the contest.
Due in large part to Generi, Navy led in draw controls, 17-15, and the team controlled 11 of 12 draws in the second half. Navy also led in shots (24-16) and saves (8-5). Cal held a slim, 15-14, advantage in ground balls.
The Mids are now 1-1 all-time against Cal and the Mids have won 11 of their last 12 games, the only loss during that stretch coming to No. 1 Northwestern.
Navy will return to Patriot League play on Saturday, hosting Holy Cross at 12 noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, where the team is 7-0 this season. The team will be holding a free post-game youth clinic and a registration form can be found on the Navy women's lacrosse team page on NavySports.com(.)