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Balanced Women’s Lacrosse Trounces Howard, 21-4
Meghan Keelan tallied a career-high five assists against Howard, one shy of a school record.
BALTIMORE—Seventeen different Retrievers scored a point and 12 tallied a goal as the UMBC women’s lacrosse team (4-9) defeated Howard (1-6) by a score of 21-4 Saturday evening at UMBC Stadium. The Retrievers have won back-to-back games for the second time this season.
Senior attack Ali Levendusky scored a career-high seven points on five goals and two assists, while senior attack Meghan Keelan set a new career best with five assists. The duo has combined to score 34 points in three career games against the Bison.
The Retrievers scored the first nine goals of the game, with eight different players getting in on scoring the action. Keelan had all five of her helpers on consecutive goals over an eight-minute span.
Howard midfielder Lauren Rivers got the Bison on the board for the first time with 3:05 remaining in the first half, and UMBC held a 9-1 lead at intermission.
The Retrievers opened the second half with a 4-0 run, as Levendusky tallied twice in the first 5:08 of play. Howard midfielder Sakita Holley scored two of the next three goals, but UMBC scored seven of the game’s final eight tallies for the 21-4 triumph.
Junior midfielder Abbey Swift and sophomore attack Sara Marshall each posted hat tricks for the Retrievers. Swift finished with four points, while
Eight different Retrievers scored multiple points and 11 tallied at least one helper, as 16 of UMBC’s 21 goals were assisted, more than doubling the previous season high of seven. The 16 assists were the most in a game since the Retrievers recorded 18 against Howard on Feb. 18, 2006.
The 21 goals are a season high for the Retrievers and the most since they scored 23 against the same Howard team on Feb. 17, 2007. After tallying 17 against Stony Brook on Wednesday, UMBC has scored 38 goals in the last two games, the best two-game stretch since April 27-May 1, 2003, when it also scored a combined 38 goals against
Levendusky’s seven points bested her previous high of six, which she set twice this season, including on Wednesday at Stony Brook, and are the most by a Retriever since Kelly Fiorani tallied seven at Virginia Tech on Feb. 24, 2006. Levendusky has scored 11 goals in the last two games to give her a career-best 44 on the season, the ninth-highest single-season total in school history and the most by a Retriever since Renee Tirocchi scored 47 in 2001. In addition, she is the first Retriever to score 40 goals in a season since she tallied 41 as a sophomore in 2006. Levendusky also moved into fifth place all-time at UMBC with 130 career goals, and she took sole possession of eighth place with 165 career points.
Keelan’s five assists were one shy of a school record for most helpers in a game, as Gina Tirocchi tallied six against Vanderbilt in 1996. Keelan’s previous career high of four also came against Howard on Feb. 18, 2006. She now has 17 assists on the season, one off her career high of 18 in 2006, and she is tied with Jen Dragoni (2002) for the 10th-best single-season total in school history. In addition, Keelan now has 42 assists in her career, leaving her one away from joining UMBC’s all-time top 10 list for career dishes.
Holley led Howard with three goals. The Retrievers out-shot the Bison, 46-6, and held an 18-9 advantage on draw controls – including 9-2 in the first half – and a 16-4 edge in ground balls – including 11-1 in the first period. In addition, Howard committed 22 turnovers to UMBC’s 14, and junior defender Sarah Willis won five draw controls and caused three Bison miscues.
Howard goalie Bianca Lamar made 11 saves in 60 minutes, while three Retrievers split time in the cage with junior Susie Sweeney recorded the only two stops of the game and sophomore Kate Quick picking up the victory.
The Retrievers return to action on Wednesday, when they open a tough final stretch against 14th-ranked Johns Hopkins at 7:30 p.m. at UMBC Stadium.