SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — First-year Sydney Widlitz made four of her 12 saves in the final 2:11 of the contest as the Union College women’s lacrosse team withstood a furious rally to knock off #13 Ithaca College by a 13-11 score in Liberty League action on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Frank Bailey Field at Bertagna-Class of 1985 Stadium.
The first-year goaltender came up huge for a second straight game, making 12 stops – including five in the fourth period – to help Union (6-2, 2-1 Liberty League) to its first win over a nationally ranked opponent since an 8-7 victory over #13 Williams College on March 29, 2011. Four of her stops came on free-position attempts, limiting Ithaca (7-3, 4-1 Liberty League) to a 1-of-7 effort from the eight-meter arc.
Senior Drew Charlton had a strong game on the offensive end, recording a career-high six points with five goals and an assist. Classmate Sydney McPartlon chipped in two goals and an assist for three points, while senior Dana Truini and junior Anna Smith scored twice each as well.
The offense played well, but Union won the game on defense in the fourth quarter, shutting out the Bombers and limiting Ithaca to just five shots in the decisive final frame. After sophomore Greta Maurer gave Union a 12-11 lead just 34 seconds into the period, Ithaca turned the ball over on four of the next five possessions before Charlton deposited an insurance tally from the eight-meter arc with 4:38 remaining.
After another big caused turnover by sophomore Morgan Adams thwarted the subsequent Ithaca possession, Widlitz then took over down the stretch, making four saves to seal the win. The biggest possession came with under two minutes left, when the first-year stopped a free-position shot by Lexi Kellish and a follow-up shot by Maizy Veitch seconds later. One last free-position stop in the final minute was followed by one last caused turnover from junior Ella Trout to secure the win.
Union got off to a fantastic start on Saturday, outshooting Ithaca 14-6 in the first period and jumping out to a 6-2 lead. After Widlitz made a save on the opening possession, Smith netted her 10th of the year to open the scoring, and Truini followed 1:24 later to double the lead. After the Bombers got on the board, junior Dana Nelson and Charlton found the net to make it a 4-1 lead. Union again responded to an Ithaca goal with two of their own later in the frame, with Truini and McPartlon both scoring in the final minute to give the home team a four-goal edge after 15 minutes.
The two teams played evenly in the second stanza, with each squad scoring three times. Charlton scored twice and Smith converted from the eight-meter arc to give Union its largest lead of the game at 9-3 with 3:30 left, but Ithaca began its comeback with two goals in the final 2:26 to get back within four at the half.
Charlton seemingly dulled the momentum by scoring on the opening possession of the third quarter, but Ithaca stormed back with two goals in 24 seconds to jump-start a 5-0 run that evened the score at 10 with 9:43 to go in the third. Maurer caused a turnover on the next possession that led to a McPartlon goal and ended the run, but the Bombers scored again later in the quarter to tie the score at 11 after three frames.
In addition to the excellent play of Widlitz between the pipes, senior Isabelle Suttie had another superb game defensively, grabbing four ground balls and causing three turnovers. As a team, Union caused 10 of Ithaca’s 15 turnovers and corralled 21 ground balls to Ithaca’s 14.
Union will look to keep the momentum going next weekend with a trip to the North Country, beginning on Friday at 4 p.m. against St. Lawrence University.