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Dartmouth Wins in First WLAX Tournament Semifinal

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Box Score [.pdf]

Dartmouth Postgame Quotes [.pdf]

Cornell Postgame Quotes [.pdf]

Courtesy of Dartmouth Athletic Communications
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Kolbe

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Cornell gave #11 Dartmouth a battle today, but the Big Green's defense locked down for the last 18 minutes to take an 10-8 victory in the first semifinal of the 2010 Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament Presented by Champion.

Dartmouth (11-3, 5-2 Ivy) advanced to the first-ever Ivy League Tournament championship game and will play either #6 Penn or Princeton in the final on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports Network.

Kirsten Goldberg (Cockeysville, Md.) led Dartmouth with three goals while Sarah Plumb (Wellesley, Mass.) and Greta Meyer (Denver, Colo.) each had two goals and an assist.

After Dartmouth jumped out to a 7-5 second half lead, Cornell made it an 8-8 game with 18;14 to play, and that's when the Big Green's trademark defense took over. Anchored by senior goalie Julie Wadland (Andover, Mass.), Dartmouth made some huge defensive stands including periods of five minutes, three minutes and two minutes to hold Penn from getting another goal. Offensively, the Big Green broke the Big Red with goals just nine seconds apart at 12:48 and 12:39 from Goldberg and Plumb and was able to hold that 10-8 lead.

Wadland made six saves in the win while Shannie MacKenzie (Greenwich, Conn.) had three ground balls and three caused turnovers. One of those came with just under two minutes to play and Cornell trying to call timeout. MacKenzie swiped the ball to end the Cornell possession before they could call time.

Cornell's (5-9, 4-3 Ivy) Kyla Dambach also made six saves in goal and the teams were dead even with 19 shots each. Dartmouth won the battle for ground balls, 18-10 but Cornell had 11 draws to Dartmouth's eight.

Both goalies did nice work in the first half with five saves each, though the defenses were stingy as well, with Dartmouth holding a slight 12-10 shot advantage in a 4-4 tied half. It was as even as they come, with neither team leading by more than one in the period.

The Big Green looked sharp early and got the first goal of the game when Meyer fed Goldberg for a big score at 25:18. Cornell answered back quickly, however when Olivia Knotts scored from point blank range at 23:39. Several defensive stands later, Cornell's Knotts gave her team a 2-1 lead at 16:48, also knocking Goldberg out of the game for three minutes with a yellow card.

Dartmouth tied it right back up with a huge goal from Kat Collins (Darien, Conn.), who made her return to the lineup after missing eight games with an injury. Plumb found her in front of the goal and Collins buried one past Dambach for the 2-2 tie at 15:30.

The Big Red took it right back when Libby Johnson scored off a feed from Jess Steinberg at 14:35, but Goldberg answered with an unassisted rocket on Dartmouth's next possession to make it 3-3 at 13:15.

The teams traded more stellar defensive stands before Meyer put Dartmouth ahead, 4-3, with a nice spin move off a great look from Plumb at 5:42. Cornell was able to match it for the 4-4 tie when McHugh scored off a feed from Steinberg a 1:59.

Cornell won the draw and battled to hold for the last shot, but Dartmouth made a great defensive stand on the ensuring possession. It all came down to a Big Red free position with 11 seconds to play and Wadland stonewalled it to give the Green a shot in the arm headed into the half.

Sophomore Sarah Parks (Ellicott City, Md.) put Dartmouth up 5-4 just two minutes into the second half, but Cornell's Morgan Axenfeld tied it up two minutes later. The Big Green scored two unanswered goals just 36 seconds apart to go up 7-5 at 24:39. Meyer made a nice hustle play for a ground ball and took it to goal herself for the first one. Parks scored the second after rookie defender Kelsey Johnson (Hingham, Mass.) made a big defensive play and cleared it up to Parks for the score at 24:39.

Cornell tied it right back up off goals by Axenfeld and Katie Kirk, 7-7 at 20:49. Each team got one more quick goal in the scoring flurry, with Plumb scoring off a feed from Collins for a brief 8-7 lead at 19:04. Kirk tied it at 8-8 at 18:14 of another free position.

The Big Red won the ensuing draw and Dartmouth made a tremendous defensive stand, holding for nearly five minutes before turning Cornell over. Dartmouth got those two quick goals to go ahead 10-8 with 12:39 and the rest was history.