AMHERST, Mass. – Fourth-ranked TCNJ used a 9-5 lead in the first half to pull ahead of the 12th-ranked Washington and Lee women's lacrosse team and claim a 13-7 win over the Generals on Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Division III Tournament regional round at Pratt Field.
TCNJ (19-1) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead just 7:12 into the game after three different players found the back of the net. W&L (17-3) lit up the scoreboard at the 22:15 mark when first-year attacker Lauren Procaccino (Manhasset, N.Y. / Manhasset) scored off an assist from sophomore attacker Melissa Coggins (St. John's, Fla. / Bartram Trail) to pull the Blue and White within two (3-1).
TCNJ controlled the next 3:50, scoring three more goals with its last coming at the 19:22 mark to hold a 6-1 lead. Senior defender Leanne Stone (Darien, Conn. / Darien) caused a turnover on the Lions ensuing possession, which set up a goal from sophomore attacker Carly Taglienti (Moorestown, N.J. / Moorestown) off another Coggins assist to stop the Lions run and make the score 6-2 with 18:25 left to play.
Taglienti struck again, this time with two unassisted tallies at the 9:57 and 7:55 marks, respectively, to pull W&L within two goals (6-4). Senior attacker Margaret Klein (North Andover, Mass. / Brooks) continued the Generals' scoring surge with a free-position goal (6-5) with 6:40 left to play. TCNJ scored three more times in the closing minutes of the first period to hold a four-goal advantage at the intermission.
After 8:45 of scoreless play in the second period, Klein beat her defender and scored her second goal of the game at the 21:15 mark to bring the Generals within three goals (9-6).
TCNJ increased its lead back to five goals (11-6) when Ava Fitzgerald and Jen Garavente both netted an unassisted tally by the 11:41 mark. The Lions recorded their largest lead of the game, six goals (12-6), when Fitzgerald scored a man-up goal at the 8:38 mark.
Taglienti recorded her fourth goal of the contest off an assist by senior attacker Greta Witter (Houston, Texas / The Hill School) with 4:22 left to play (13-7), but the Lions forced two missed shots by the Generals in the final four minutes and held on to the ball to secure the win.
For the game, TCNJ held a 25-19 edge in shots and a 15-7 lead in draw controls, while both teams picked up 16 ground balls.
Junior keeper Cara Mulligan (Glen Ridge, N.J. / Glen Ridge) played the entire game in net for the Generals, finishing the contest with five saves. She will enter her senior season needing just 45 saves to break into W&L's Top-5 list for career saves. Kelly Schlupp earned the win for the Lions, finishing with nine saves.
Taglienti led the Generals' offense with four goals, while Klein added two of her own. Taglienti also added four ground balls and two caused turnovers, while Stone chipped in two ground balls and caused three turnovers.
Fitzgerald and Kendal Borup paced TCNJ with three goals apiece, while Garavente added two goals and an assist.
With the loss, the Generals end their season with a 17-3 overall record, which ties the program record for wins in a season. W&L captured its 15th conference championship and made its 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, making it to the regional round for just the sixth time in program history.
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