TOWSON, Md. -- In the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament game, the Old Dominion women's lacrosse team fell to Towson, 16-5, on Friday afternoon at Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium.
"We had a great season and these girls had a lot of heart out there today," said head coach Heather Holt. "Towson is a spectacular team with some great athletes and they will go pretty far in this tournament."
Old Dominion (16-4) concludes the season with a single-season record 16 wins and won its second conference tournament championship in school history, its first since 1995. Individually, Ashmore Standing, with a goal today, tied the ODU single-season record of 67 set by Cathy Large in 1987.
Towson (16-3) controlled the pace of play early, storming out to a 3-0 lead in the first 15 minutes. Morgan Marrale then put the Lady Monarchs on the board with her 31st goal of the season off of an assist from Megan Topper at the 15:24 mark.
The Tigers responded with five-goal rally to extend the lead to 8-1 with 6:42 remaining, but ODU closed the opening half strong, as Standing and Mary Margaret McCaleb netted goals to cut the lead to five.
Towson carried the 8-3 lead into halftime, outshooting ODU, 20-8, and forcing the Lady Monarchs into eight turnovers. Maggi Buckley tallied seven saves in the half for ODU.
In the second half, the Tigers reeled off four consecutive goals in the first five minutes to extend their lead to 12-3. Marrale ended the Towson rally with an unassisted goal, her second of the game, but the Tigers once again responded with another offensive outburst. Alex Danks tallied a late goal to bring the score to a 16-5 final.
Overall, Towson outshot ODU, 36-10, and held a 15-8 advantage in draw controls. In goal, Buckley finished with 15 saves, while redshirt senior defender Morgan Gallagher finished with two caused turnovers.
Towson's Emily Gillingham and Natalie Sulmonte led all scorers with three goals apiece. The Tigers advance to play No. 7 seed Penn on Sunday at 12 p.m. View the complete bracket here.
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