F&M pulls away in 4th quarter to beat women’s lax

Playing eighth-ranked Franklin Marshall on Saturday, the Swarthmore women’s lacrosse team came on the losing end of a road contest whose final score belies its competitive nature.

The second-place Diplomats (10-2, 5-0 in conference) broke open a close game near the end of the second half to pull away and defeat the Garnet 17-10 behind five-goal games from seniors Cat Serpe and Erin Dunne.

“Saturday’s game was a big test for us,” Marie Mutryn ’12 said, “and unfortunately, we didn’t come out with the win.”

In the first half, the Garnet pulled ahead quickly, as Annalise Penikis ’13 and Corinne Sommi ’14 scored within the first four minutes to give Swarthmore a 2-0 lead. For Penikis, the team’s leading scorer, it was the first of four goals on the afternoon, while Sommi would score three times.
F&M, however, didn’t let the Garnet hold the lead for very long. Back-to-back goals from Ali Kelly and Mary Mitchell evened the score at 2 before ten minutes had gone by in the first half.

The rest of the half was a back-and-forth battle between two powerful offenses. After the Garnet briefly regained the lead on Sommi’s second goal, the Diplomats scored three times in succession to take a 5-3 lead, only to lose it when Penikis and Sommi went back-to-back once again to pull their team even. In the final four minutes of the half, however, Dunne scored two goals and Serpe one to send their team into the locker room with an 8-5 advantage.

“They were playing at our pace,” head coach Karen Borbee said of the Diplomats through the third quarter. “We were setting the tempo, which is key.”

Swarthmore kept pace with F&M through most of the second half, as Penikis’s fourth goal of the afternoon made the score 11-8 with fifteen minutes left to play. From there, though, the Garnet failed to stay with their opponent, as the Diplomats went on a 6-0 run over the next nine minutes to make the score 17-8 and seal the Garnet’s fate. Late goals from Mutryn and Elyse Tierney ’15 served only to make the score look more respectable.

For Swarthmore, Nicole Vanchieri also added a goal and an assist, while Sommi contributed an assist to go along with her three goals. Goalkeeper Michelle Ammerman ’14, starting and playing most of the game, tallied five saves.

“Our game against F&M was a battle,” Vanchieri said, “[but] we proved it to ourselves that we can play with the best teams in the league. However, our ten minute lapse in the second half where they scored six unanswered goals killed us in the end. This game showed us that if we play with composure and intensity for the full sixty minutes, we can beat every team in our conference.”

Afterwards, the Garnet reflected on how quickly it all fell apart near the end, as F&M piled on goal after goal to put the game away.

“We were looking around, kind of like ‘what’s going on?’ We’d lost our energy,” Tierney said of the game’s final minutes. “Up until that point, we’d been able to play with [F&M], but then we slacked off for a bit [near the end].”

While the team was disheartened by its play at the tail end of the game, there is no denying the positives to be found in its performance against the Diplomats.

“We played really well and stuck to our game plan and we put a lot of pressure on a top ranked opponent,” Mutryn said. “I think our performance really shows how good we can play and I hope we can take the momentum into these last four games.”

“We came out of the game feeling really strong,” Tierney added. “We played one of the best games we’d played this season, and I definitely think it’s going to help us [in the future].”

On Wednesday, Swarthmore returned to Clothier Field to take on Muhlenberg, another conference rival. The game proved to be one for the ages, as Penikis scored two goal in the final 90 seconds to bring Swarthmore from the brink of another loss to a dramatic 15-14 victory. Penikis had five goals on the afternoon, while Sommi followed suit with three. Mutryn also scored three goals, while Annelise Mowry ’12 netted two.

Swarthmore’s next matchup comes this Saturday when Dickinson comes to Clothier Field for Senior Day. The start time is slated for 3:00 p.m.

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