Women's Lax Upsets Ursinus 11-10 in Centennial Conference Playoff Opening Round Game; Will Face Defending Champion Gettysburg in Semifinals
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. - Led by an outstanding five-goal, two-assist performance from All-America candidate Annalise Penikis, the No. 5 seed Swarthmore College women's lacrosse team (12-5) held off a furious second-half rally from homestanding No. 4 seed Ursinus (9-8) and defeated the Bears 11-10 on Wednesday evening in the Opening Round of the Centennial Conference Women's Lacrosse Playoffs from Patterson Field.
With the win, the Garnet advances to the Centennial Conference semifinals to face No. 1 seed and defending national champion Gettysburg. That game will take place on Saturday, April 28 at 1:00 pm from the Battlefield.
The history-making win marks the first Centennial Conference playoff victory in program history and just the second win over Ursinus since 1994.
Sophomore Corinne Sommi and senior Annelise Mowry each added two goals for Swarthmore while senior Marie Mutryn and junior Beth Martin also scored.
Penikis also made history herself, as her seven-point performance helped her eclipse the 200-point plateau for her career, becoming just the seventh player in program history to reach that mark.
While Annalise Penikis rightfully gets the accolades, it was Annelise Mowry that may have won the game for the Garnet. Thanks to a lightning-quick four-goal run from Ursinus, Swarthmore's five-goal second half lead was trimmed to just 10-9 with under seven minutes to play. With her team on the ropes, Mowry netted the eventual game-winner with 6:14 to play -- with an assist from sophomore Lucy Whitacre -- to make it an 11-9 game.
Ursinus had the immediate answer, as Lauren Garganio scored for the Bears just 29 seconds later, again make it a one-goal game at 11-10. But over the final five minutes, Swarthmore used its ball control and some excellent keep-away tactics to win the game.
Thanks to a crucial draw control win on an all-out hustle play from senior Maddie Williams, the Garnet maintained possession and held on to the ball for three minutes before finally turning it over. With a chance to tie the game in the final two minutes, Ursinus made a costly blunder by drawing an offside penalty with just 1:30 to play, surrendering the ball to Swat. Ninety seconds from victory, Swarthmore maintained possession until the final buzzer sounded, securing the history-making win.
In goal for the Garnet, sophomore Michelle Ammerman played an excellent game, saving eight shots. The defense as a whole played one of its best games of the season, led by sophomore Caroline Murphy's three caused turnovers and four ground balls. The Swat defense also did an outstanding job of shutting down Ursinus' Alyssa Thren; the Garnet defense held the Centennial's third-leading scorer to no goals on just three shots.
A 4-4 game entering the second half, Swarthmore took complete control of the game in the first 15 minutes of the second stanza, scoring six goals to build a 10-5 lead. Mowry and Mutryn got the scoring started with goals in the 38th and 39th minutes, while Penikis scored four consecutive goals over a four-minute stretch to make it a 10-5 game with 16 minutes to play.
Swarthmore's semifainl contest at No. 1 seed Gettysburg begins at 1:00 pm on Saturday. That game will be followed by No. 2 F&M vs. No. 3 Washington College. If Swarthmore is victorious on Saturday, it will advance to Sunday's Centennial Conference Championship game (1:00 pm).