COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Continuing to challenge her team with one of the toughest schedules in college lacrosse, Dartmouth women’s lacrosse head coach Amy Patton and her team met up against the unanimous No. 1 program in the nation Sunday, playing Maryland in the final road contest of the 2013 regular season.
As the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard at the Terrapins’ Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex, the score reflected a 17-8 win for the home team, improving to 16-0 on the season with the victory. However, for Patton and her now 8-5 overall Big Green team, playing the top squad in the country is part of the preparation for success in postseason play.
“I felt like we got better today as we move forward,” Patton said afterwards. “Sometimes it’s more about what you did to get better than what the score says. Today was one of those times for us.
“I was pleased with our attack, how well we generated shots and how patient we were to get better looks,” she continued. “Where Maryland excelled was in the transition game with fast breaks that they were able to capitalize on.”
Senior Hana Bowers scored four times, carrying the Dartmouth attack as the lone player to record multiple goals in the contest. Fellow senior and tri-captain Courtney Bennett scored once and assisted on another as the only player beside Bowers to pick up multiple points on the afternoon.
The third goal of the afternoon for Bowers was the 100th point of her career. She finished the afternoon with 101 career points on 77 goals and 24 assists.
Bowers also set a new career high with six draw controls to go along with two ground balls. Bennett posted a team-high two caused turnovers.
Junior goalkeeper Kristen Giovanniello turned aside 12 shots from the top-ranked Terps in the game, eclipsing her previous season high of 11 saves set Friday evening at Penn.
Maryland jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the opening half and never trailed, holding a 9-3 advantage at intermission. Despite the score, the Green hung with the home team, trailing just 19-15 in total shots at the game’s midway point.
The nation’s second-leading scorer proved to be too much to overcome on this day, though, as Alex Aust scored six times and finished with seven points in the Maryland win. Kelly McPartland and Katie Schwarzmann each posted two goals and two assists as well.
Giovanniello’s counterpart at the other end of the field in the Terrapin’s Casey Howard was also tested regularly as she was forced to make 10 saves against a resilient Dartmouth offensive unit.
Sarah Byrne, Gabby Starkey and Christine Lushefski each had one goal in the game as well.
The eight turnovers were a season low for the Big Green.
The team from the Upper Valley has already played No. 2 Florida and No. 6 Duke in addition to No. 16 Cornell prior to Sunday’s meeting with No. 1 Maryland, demonstrating a challenging non-conference slate to complement its already grueling Ivy League schedule.
The Big Green will now turn its attention to next Saturday’s (April 20) meeting with conference foe Princeton at Scully-Fahey Field in Hanover. Game time is set for noon and is the first of two straight home games to end the regular season with a 7 p.m. contest against Harvard on Friday, April 26 set to close out the 2013 campaign.