The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Saturday June 15th

TCNJ women’s lacrosse comeback falls short against top national team

<p><em>Senior attacker Morgan Vaccaro in the loss (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).</em></p>

Senior attacker Morgan Vaccaro in the loss (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).

By Joey Bachich
Staff Writer

The College’s women's lacrosse team had their biggest game of the year playing against the No. 1 team in the nation, Middlebury College. The Lions came into the game losing their last three games against the Black Panthers and were looking to break the losing streak. Middlebury is coming off a National Championship, along with an unbeaten streak of 33 games, and has become a true powerhouse in Division III women's lacrosse. 

The game started off back and forth with the Lions coming out in a zone defense and stopping the Middlebury attack early. Sophomore nursing major Marissa Lucca and senior nursing major Morgan Vaccaro went back-to-back to give the Lions a 2-1 lead early in the first quarter. Then Middlebury went on a make-it-take-it run, scoring six straight to end the quarter. This was due to the long possessions of the Panthers that kept the Lions stuck in their defensive zone for a ton of the quarter. Along with that, Middlebury won almost every draw giving their offense a possession after every goal and started the vicious cycle for the Lions to constantly defend.

The game became a little more even and more reckless in the second quarter, with both teams having eight turnovers. The Lions tied the Panthers 2-2 in this quarter and played much better defensively and created turnovers by being aggressive. Senior education majors Ally Tobler and Kira Sides both scored to put the Lions back on the board near the end of the quarter.

The second half played more of the same with some turnovers from both teams, but the downfall of the Lions was the ability not to be able to clear the ball back to the offense cleanly. While Middlebury went four for four on clears, the Lions only cleared three out of six times, which was a huge momentum killer in the game. Senior goalie and special education major Julia Charest had a great second half, throwing up nine saves. This kept the Lions alive after a troublesome first quarter. The Lions offense stifled the rest of the game and ended up losing 14-6. 

Barring a first half to forget, the Lions went blow for blow with the number one team in the nation only losing the second quarter on by a score of 7-6. The Lions now have to get right back in the fire with two of the biggest games of the year, one at home against No. 6 Gettysburg College and the other away against No. 7 Washington and Lee. The offense needs to become more consistent as the Lions need to get more shots on the cage over the next week. 

Against Middlebury, they only registered ten shots total to a staggering 37 shots by the Panthers. The defense needs to hone in that spectacular second half form and work on clearing out from the back. The athleticism of senior nursing major Madison Wernick needs to be used more in the transition game along with using the midfielders more in that quick flip from offense to defense. 

Next Games

March 27 - No. 6 Gettysburg College (6-2) at home

March 30 - No. 7 Washington and Lee University (7-3) at USA Lax Headquarters

April 2 - Cabrini University (5-2) at Cabrini University




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