EASTON, Pa.- Despite career-high scoring efforts from four players, Monmouth University (0-5) women's lacrosse team fell 16-15 to Lafayette College (5-1) on Tuesday night at Fisher Stadium.
Junior Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.H./Central/RMU) tallied a career-high seven points on three goals and four assists, while sophomores Emily Barbieri (Parsippany, N.J./DePaul Catholic) and Allison Stathius (Delran, N.J./Delran) along with junior Cassie Campasano (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip/Jacksonville) all netted three goals apiece, setting or tying career marks.
"We did everything but win the game," said MU Head Coach Denise Wescott. "There is nothing else I could have asked from the team. We got the draw and hit the post six times. I thought we played better than we've ever played we just didn't get the win."
In the end it turned out to not be enough as Lafayette scored 16 goals on 24 shots, 20 of which were on goal. Freshman midfielder Carlianne McCabe scored a career-best six goals while senior Jessica Rothstein added five more markers for the Leopards, who are off to their best program start since the 1970s.
"Our goalies struggled with the lights a little bit", said Wescott. "Our offense got some good looks, we drove well, got the draw well. McCabe hurt us early, she got some good looks but we made some adjustments and were able to control her in the second half. We've been playing really well the last couple games, we just need to put it all together and get a win."
The two teams battled back and forth for most of the game, including ending the first half tied in an 8-8 deadlock. McCabe broke the halftime tie with back to back goals to start the second half, giving Lafayette a 10-8 lead at the 25:40 mark, their largest of the game to that point. Monmouth battled to tie the game but could tie it through the first 15 minutes of the second half as Lafayette took a 13-12 lead on a Jessica Rothstein goal. Barbieri tied the game at 13-13 with back to back goals, while Monmouth starting goalie Katie Donohoe (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Cross Secondary) was replaced after allowing 13 goals in 45 minutes. Freshman Caroline Huelster (Lenape, N.J./Lenape) came in, making two saves in her first career action while allowing three goals in her first career action.
Lafayette's Ana White and Stathius traded goals to get the score to 13-13 but Addie Godfrey, who scored her 28th goal of the season, regained the lead for the Leopards with 6:38 to play. Rothstein netted the eventual game-winning goal on a free position attempt 14 seconds later to give LC a 16-14 cushion. Senior Erica Abendschoen (West Caldwell, N.J./James Caldwell) got the Hawks within one on an unassisted goal with 5:16 to play but it would be the final goal MU would net. The Monmouth offense turned the ball over three times in the final five minutes, while getting off one shot, which was saved by goalie Mimi Connell.
The first half was a back and forth affair with each offense seemingly scoring at will. The score changed leads three times and was tied eight times, including 8-8 at the end of the first 30 minutes of play. After causing a turnover on the first Leopard possession Gibbons gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead just 56 seconds into the half. Lafayette scored to tie it up at the 26:05 mark but Campasano scored her first of three opening-half goals to knot the game up again. McCabe scored back to back goals to tie the game and then take the lead for the Leopards, 3-2 with 24:24 left in the half. Stathius, who had four first half draw controls, answered to tie the game again. Lafayette would go on to retake the lead five more times but each time Monmouth answered right back, all the way to the end of the half, which ended in an 8-8 standstill. At the end of the first half, Monmouth had outshot Lafayette 17-9 but the Leopards scored on eight of nine shots.
MU dominated the draw, 21-12, in part to Stathius' seven draw controls. The Hawks held a 33-24 advantage in shots but the Lafayette goaltenders combined for nine saves, compared to four for the two MU netminders.
Stathius added four ground balls to her four-point effort, along with seven draw controls and a caused turnover.
Monmouth falls to 0-5 to start a season for the third time in school history. MU has never started a season winless through six games.
The Hawks are back at home against Siena on Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.