EWING, NJ (4/26/14) - The Kean University women's lacrosse team fell to No. 4 The College of New Jersey 18-8 on Saturday in the final game of the regular season for both teams. The Lions and Cougars will hook up again on Wednesday in Ewing in the first round of the inaugural New Jersey Athletic Conference Women's Lacrosse Championship.
That semifinal match-up is set Wednesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. with TCNJ serving as the top seed and Kean coming in as the fourth seed. This is the first year the conference will sponsor a post-season tournament with the previous champions being decided by the regular-season standings.
The Lions went a perfect 6-0 in conference play to push their NJAC winning streak to 23-straight, dating back to the 2010 season. Overall, TCNJ is 15-1 on the year. The loss squared Kean's conference record at 3-3 and 9-7 overall.
The opening half was a game of runs with each team boasting multiple-goal spurts. The Lions started the game by scoring four times in the first five minutes.
But the plucky Cougars fought back with five-straight goals to take the lead. Ciara Mastrodomenico picked up two during that time and the others came from Carly Seidel, Jordan Blanda and Kelly Bachovchin. Blanda and Bachovchin converted free-position opportunities and Seidel (pictured left) had the only assist for Kean in the run.
The Lions tied the game at 5-5 on a goal by Jen Garavente and then took the lead for good with 4:47 left before the break when junior Kendal Borup scored unassisted.
In the end, those two goals sparked an eight-goal rally that spanned halftime and did not allow the Cougars to recover.
TCNJ dictated play in the second half, scoring the first four goals of the period to forge a 12-5 advantage. In all, the Lions outscored Kean 10-3 in the final 30 minutes.
Lion goalie Kelly Schlupp finished with four saves to garner the victory while Daniella Wagenti made eight stops for the Cougars.
Julie Knodt added a second-half score for Kean and Mastrodomenico accounted for half of the Cougar goals with a total of four.
TCNJ and Kean will resume their rivalry with even higher stakes in the postseason on Wednesday.