Back-to-Back Champs! Navy Rallies to Defeat Colgate in PL Title Game, 15-14
April 30, 2011
Hamilton, N.Y. - Senior Katrina Nietsch scored the game-winning goal with 28.8 seconds remaining to cap off a late-game 5-0 run to give Navy (14-5) a 15-14 win over Colgate (9-7) and the 2011 Patriot League Championship on Saturday afternoon at Tyler's Field. In just its fourth year of varsity play, Navy has won back-to-back Patriot League titles and will host Quinnipiac (NEC Champion) in an NCAA Play-In Game on May 7 with an NCAA Tournament automatic bid on the line.
"I just credit our team for such an incredible victory today," head coach Cindy Timchal said. "We had to hang in there and believe and come up with some big defensive stops. Our offense was able to score in key opportunities to keep it close late and eventually win the game. To win back-to-back titles is very special for Navy women's lacrosse and the United States Naval Academy. It's a great day to be a Navy women's lacrosse player."
Navy trailed Colgate, 11-6, with 25:28 to go in the second half and also trailed, 14-10, with 15:19 to go. Then sophomore Jasmine DePompeo and senior Caitlin Mandrin Hill provided the offensive firepower to key a late Navy rally.
Down 14-10, DePompeo scored back-to-back goals off assists from Mandrin Hill, before DePompeo returned the favor to assist on a Mandrin Hill goal to allow Navy to pull the game to 14-13 with 7:29 to go in the game.
Colgate controlled the ensuing draw, but junior Dominique Wright caused a turnover and scooped the ground ball to get the ball back in Navy's attacking zone, where DePompeo scored off an assist from Jill Coughlin to tie the game at 14-14 with 4:54 to go.
Senior Abby Ellis then controlled the next draw for Navy and the Mids were able to run some time off the clock before beginning their offensive set with under 1:00 to go. Sophomore Kathy Young got a good shot off but Colgate's goalie was able make a save, but Young regained possession of the ball.
Young then got the ball to Nietsch, who was set up on the left wing. Nietsch drove the ball in on the cage and fired a high shot that deflected off the Colgate goalie and into the net with 28.8 seconds to go.
Nietsch's goal gave Navy its first lead of the game since the Mids went up, 2-1, five minutes into the first half. Colgate got the draw control but was unable to get off a potential game-tying shot.
Navy outscored Colgate 9-6 in the second half and 6-1 over the final 17:17. A huge part of Navy's second half surge was the play of DePompeo. The Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year scored seven points in the second half on five goals and two assists and tied a career-high with nine points in the game (5 g, 4 a). After the game, DePompeo was named the Patriot League Tournament's Most Valuable Player. In two games, DePompeo scored 13 points on six goals and seven assists. DePompeo set new Patriot League Tournament records for most points in a game (9), most points in a tournament (13) and most assists in a tournament (7).
"I am so proud of my team," DePompeo said. "It's the mark of a good team to come back from that much down and just never give up and come out with a win. Coach [Timchal] keep stressing that it was one possession, one ground ball, one draw control at a time and you can't try to get it all back at once. We had some good defensive stops and then were able to turn around and get the goals on offense."
DePompeo was joined on the all-tournament team by Nietsch, Mandrin Hill and junior defender Kierstin King. This is the second straight season that Nietsch and Mandrin Hill have been named to the all-tournament team.
Mandrin Hill finished the game with five points on two goals and three assists.
Young had a strong all-around game for Navy, tallying four points on three goals and an assist and also had four ground balls and a draw control.
Sophomore Michelle Verbeeck earned the win in the cage for Navy to improve to 5-1 on the season. Verbeeck is also 3-0 all-time against Colgate.
The Mids jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the game but three straight Colgate goals gave the Raiders a 4-2 edge. Navy then got back-to-back goals from freshmen Jill Coughlin and Aimee Gennaro to tie the game at 4-4. Colgate then ripped off two straight, but Navy responded with back-to-back goals from Nietsch and Mandrin Hill to force another tie at 6-6.
Colgate then opened up its five-goal lead on three straight goals to close out the first half and two more to open the second to post the 11-6 edge.
Navy finally broke the drought after DePompeo caused a turnover in the midfield and dished the ball to Young for a goal at the 23:02 mark in the second half, before DePompeo scored a goal of her own.
The two teams went back-and-forth on the next five goals, with Colgate taking the 14-10 lead, setting the stage for Navy's late game rally.
The Mids were outshot by Colgate, 15-9 in the first half, but outshot the hosts 22-7 in the second half and held a 31-22 edge in the game. Navy also led the ground ball battle, 17-14. Colgate led in draw controls, 17-14.
Navy will host the Northeast Conference Champion Quinnipiac at 12 noon on Saturday, May 7 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Navy defeated Sacred Heart in the 2010 NCAA Play-In Game, 12-2 before falling to No. 3 North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"Every year it gets better and better and we are just making huge strides with this program," Nietsch said. "As a senior, I could not be more proud and it's a privilege to be a part of this group."
Notes: DePompeo now leads the team with 53 goals, 37 assists and 90 points ... Her 37 assists is tied for the most in a single season in school history ... DePompeo also surpassed the 100-point plateau in today's game, becoming just the second sophomore to do it at Navy and the sixth overall ... the game was televised by CBS Sports Network.