BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Navy women’s lacrosse team jumped out to an early lead and wouldn’t look back in downing Lehigh, 14-4 on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks (7-9, 2-3 Patriot League) were led by Carli Sukonik who rounded out her freshman season with her seventh-career hat trick. It was also Senior Day as Lauren Murray, Anna Pierce and Leigh Ann Torcivia were all honored prior to their finals games in the Brown and White.
Navy (15-2, 6-0) scored the game’s first eight goals and the first 13-of-14, but the Mountain Hawks wouldn’t quit. A resilient Lehigh squad tallied three of the final four goals to pull within 14-4 at the final horn.
“I’m proud of our effort today,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “We stayed tough throughout the game. We didn’t give up on groundballs or things that are easy to give up on when the game’s been decided. A number of very young players got fabulous experience in this game.”
Torcivia scored Lehigh’s other goal off a free position chance while junior Anna Patterson added an assist on the Mountain Hawks’ first tally. Junior MaryLeah DiNisco was strong between the pipes, making 12 stops including eight in the first half.
“I’m proud of ML,” said Redfern. “She stopped some point blank shots, stayed focused and kept our defense together back when we were on defense for so many minutes. It’s an attribute to her character and her competitiveness to say focused that entire game and do well.”
The Midshipmen scored four quick goals to take a 4-0 lead less than nine minutes into the game. The lead rose to 8-0, but Sukonik took a nifty feed from Patterson before beating Navy goalie Michelle Verbeeck with 32 seconds remaining in the first half.
Navy scored the first four of the second half, but Sukonik scored two more, with a Torcivia goal in between, to account for the 14-4 final.
“We hate to send seniors out on a loss, but they’re three very strong individuals with very good character,” said Redfern. “We’re proud of them. They have been instrumental in building this program and we certainly hope they will stay involved. We’re very proud of those three.”
Navy held a 38-11 edge in shots, 12-5 in groundballs and 14-7 in draw controls. DiNisco posted 12 saves while Verbeeck made three saves before being relieved by Elaina Ponchione who made two.