ELON, N.C. – Though never trailing on Sunday, April 14, Elon University women’s lacrosse answered three game-tying goals by Delaware at Rudd Field in CAA action to earn a 9-8 victory over the Blue Hens.
After a scoreless opening 10 minutes, Quinn Daly got Elon (4-10, 2-2 CAA) on the board first with a goal out in front setup by Grace Simpson and Summer Larese followed nearly three minutes later with a free position, man-up goal to put Elon up 2-0 nearly 13 minutes in. Though leading 4-2 with two minutes to go before halftime, Delaware (6-8, 0-3 CAA) scored twice, including the tying goal by Christine Long with six seconds left that came in from behind the net, hit Long’s stick and ricocheted in, to knot the game at 4-4 at the break.
Out of halftime, Mae McGlynn connected on a free position shot and Larese converted a nice pass from Peighton Stonebehind the cage to give the Phoenix a two-goal lead at 6-4 with 20:44 to play. The Blue Hens didn’t go quietly, though, with Claire D’Antonio and Mia DeRuggiero tallying three minutes apart to pull UD back even with 16:04 to go.
After Delaware’s tying goal, the Blue Hens used a timeout to set the stage for the final 16 minutes. While Elon and Delaware traded goals within 92 seconds of each other to keep it a tie game at 7-7 with 13:11 to play, it was Elon scoring twice in less than a minute of game action with Quinn Daly and Stone tallying to take a 9-7 lead with 7:42 to play.
Down the stretch, Sydney Rausa scored with 3:49 to play to bring Delaware within one. In the closing 90 seconds, Delaware got the ball back with 1:31 to play after a Cami Lynch shot was stopped by Mercy McCarthy and UD called timeout with 35 seconds to go to setup its last chance. Earning a free position shot with 15 seconds to play, Paulina DiFatta stopped Rausa’s shot and Palmer Voorhees picked up the loose ball to run out the clock and secure the win.
Larese’s hat trick led Elon’s scoring, but Stone finished with a team-best four points on a goal and three assists. Daly and Blair Kessler both scored twice and Gillian Curran finished with two assists. Shannon Horan picked up a career-best six draw controls with Curran grabbing four more. A host of Elon players finished with a team-best two ground balls while Curran and Leah Zadjuracaused two turnovers apiece. In the cage, Paulina DiFatta made a season-high 16 saves and finished with a .667 save percentage.
Delaware was led by DeRuggiero’s two goals and two assists for four points. D’Antonio and Sarah Bedard also scored twice to pace the Blue Hens. Caroline Farley tallied a pair of assists on the day while both DeRuggiero and Chantae Simms led the team with three ground balls apiece.
-Entering the game, Peighton Stone had one point on the season before going off for four on Sunday.
-In Elon’s last two home games against Delaware, its goalies have put their names on the program’s all-time list for most saves in a single game. On Sunday, Paulina DiFatta’s 16 tied for the second-most in a game to date. Two years ago almost to the day on April 16, 2017, Rachel Ramirez tied her own mark for the third-most in a game with 15 against the Blue Hens in a 6-3 Elon win. Elon’s program record is 18 by Ramirez against North Carolina.
-Elon assisted on seven of its nine goals on Sunday to mark the second-most assists in a game this year. Against Winthrop on Feb. 20, the Phoenix had a season-best eight assists on 23 goals.
-With the final score of 9-8, the 17 combined goals mark the most in a game between the two to date. Elon and Delaware have now met five times going back to 2015.
-Elon has won each of the last four games in the series against Delaware.
Next time out, Elon will start its final road stretch of 2019 with a visit to James Madison on Friday, April 19. Opening draw is set for 5 p.m. at Sentara Park and the game will air on Lax Sports Network. After that, the Phoenix will close the CAA regular-season slate on Friday, April 26, at William & Mary before coming home to finish the year with Senior Day against Coastal Carolina at Rudd Field.