KUTZTOWN – The Philadelphia University women's lacrosse team jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening 3:09 of Tuesday's non-conference match at Kutztown and used that momentum to knock off the Golden Bears 11-6.
Samantha Ryder (Perkasie, Pa./Pennridge) needed just 2:18 to give the Rams (3-4) the early advantage as she turned a rebound off of a Liz Mower (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) shot into the match's first goal. Kathryn Avanzato (Lake Grove, N.Y./Sachem North) scooped up the ground ball and found Ryder cutting to the net for the opener.
Philadelphia won the ensuing draw control and needed just 49 seconds for Mower to get into the scoring column, with an assist from Isabella DiGnazio (Pittsburgh, Pa./Peters Twp.) to double the cushion.
After Kutztown (5-5) scored two of the next three to close the gap to 3-2 with 18:42 left in the half, Mower scored on a free-position shot and DiGnazio netted an unassisted goal to put Philadelphia up three (5-2).
The final 13:49 of the half was a defensive struggle as Kutztown took seven shots and Philadelphia attempted three, but neither team was able to score. The Rams' Corrine Etter (Millville, N.J./Millville) recorded three saves to maintain the three-goal lead going into halftime.
Kutztown got off to a quick start in the second half, getting goals from Madison Carlucci and Sarah Gabriele in the first 3:52 to once again close the gap to one.
Just 39 seconds after the Rams' lead shrunk to 6-5, Avanzato got into the scoring act to stop the Golden Bear rally. At the 24:43 mark, Mower netted an unassisted marker that allowed the Rams to reclaim a three-goal lead. Playing a man-up after a yellow card, Laura Dune (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) extended the lead to 8-4 on a free-position shot.
Leading 8-5, Philadelphia got goals from DiGnazio, Caroline Noebels (Hightstown, N.J./Hightstown), and Avanzato to move ahead by a match-high six goals (11-5) with 24 seconds left to play.
Mower finished up with up four goals, one assist, and two ground balls, while DiGnazio recorded two goals, one assist, and three ground balls.
Gabriele led Kutztown with three goals and two assists.
In goal, Etter ended up with eight saves and seven ground balls for the Rams. Kutztown's Abby Cox stopped seven shots. The Rams outshot the Golden Bears 28-21.
Philadelphia comes home on Wednesday, March 30 to open Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play against Georgian Court at 4:30 p.m.