LANCASTER, Pa. – Behind Kathleen Notos, The College of New Jersey overcame a five-goal deficit for a 14-13 win, advancing to the NCAA Division III National Championship weekend. Notos scored five goals, including three in a seven-goal run by the No. 1 Lions (20-0) in the second half. The TCNJ win denied F&M its fifth-straight trip to the NCAA Championship weekend.
Trailing 12-7 with 16:54 to play, Leigh Mitchell cashed in on one of TCNJ's seven second half free position shots, beating the No. 6 Diplomats (19-3) keeper, Kelsey Hoffman, to the low left corner. After an unassisted goal from Sara Keating, Notos went to the eight-meter line and bounced one past Hoffman to make it a 12-10 game. Alex Spark cashed in on another free position shot less than three minutes later, before Notos scored on back-to-back solo efforts to give the Lions their first lead in 49:32 of lacrosse.
Notos evened the game with a run down the middle of the fan at 5:44. She gave the Lions the lead 37 seconds later with a blast inside of the right post. Spark secured the game winner with a run through the fan at 3:50. Erin Dunne's third goal of the day with 2:13 left in the game got F&M back within one, but the Lions won the ensuing draw and were able to run out the clock.
TCNJ got 10 shots off from the eight-meter mark and opted not to shoot on four more free position attempts. The Diplomats went three-for-three from eight meters. F&M was whistled 37 times, while TCNJ was whistled 16.
The Lions' comeback was necessitated by a balanced offensive mounted by the Diplomats. Six different players scored as F&M built an 8-5 lead at the break. Katie Delaney and Caroline Krohn each scored twice in the run. Krohn finished the day with a hat trick, her second in three games. It appeared F&M was going to have a four-goal lead going into the break, but Notos was awarded a free position shot with 3.5 seconds left in the half. She converted with two seconds left.
Beyond the offense, Hoffman was an immovable force, coming up with eight saves, including a number on free position attempts. With 20:48 left in the game, she denied Ali Jaeger from point blank on consecutive shots. Jaeger was stopped first on a free position shot and the ball caromed back into her stick. The second, ticketed for up top was met by Hoffman's crosse as well.
F&M's 13 goals mark the most any team has scored on TCNJ this season, and the Diplomats are the first team to break into double digits against the Lions in 2011. F&M's three losses have all come on the 15th on the month. The 20th win of the season marks the first time TCNJ has hit the plateau in their program's history. Franklin & Marshall, without a senior on the roster, closed the year at 19-3.
#1 New Jersey (20-0) vs. #6 Franklin & Marshall (19-3)
SCORE BY PERIOD 1 2 Tot
New Jersey.......... 4 10 - 14
Franklin & Marshall. 8 5 - 13
New Jersey SCORING: GOALS: Kathleen Notos 5; Alex Spark 3; Leigh Mitchell 3; Jillian Nealon 1; Sara Keating 1; Jen Garavente 1.
ASSISTS: Lauren Pigott 2; Alison Jaeger 1; Leigh Mitchell 1; Alex Spark 1.
ASSISTS: Caroline Krohn 2; Erin Dunne 1; Cat Serpe 1.
GOALIES - TCNJ: Mary Waller 20-0 (60:00 minutes, 19 shots-6 saves, 13 GA); F&M: Kelsey Hoffman 16-2 (60:00, 22-8, 14).
SHOTS - New Jersey 28; Franklin & Marshall 20.
SHOTS ON GOAL - New Jersey 22; Franklin & Marshall 19.
TURNOVERS - New Jersey 10; Franklin & Marshall 10.
CLEARS - New Jersey 10-14; Franklin & Marshall 11-11.
New Jersey GROUND BALLS: Lauren Pigott 2; Claire Engleman 1; Alison Jaeger 1; Leigh Mitchell 1; Jillian Nealon 1; Kathleen Notos 1; Mary Waller 1.
New Jersey TURNOVERS CAUSED: Kathleen Notos 2; Sara Keating 1; Kelsey O'Gorman 1; Lauren Pigott 1.
Franklin & Marshall TURNOVERS CAUSED: Erin Dunne 4; Mary Mitchell 2; Libby Nichols 1.
Start time: 1:00 pm Finish time: 2:57 Length of game: 1:57
Officials: Bridget Rothera; Peter Hyde; Devon Holcomb; T - BJ Marth.
Scorer: F&M Sports Info. A-425 T-1:57