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Women's lacrosse falls to Penn State in NCAA quarterfinals after exciting run

The women’s lacrosse team had an exciting run in the NCAA Tournament, having defeated Cornell to face Penn State in the quarterfinal round.

The match against Cornell on May 14 was a thrilling one, the Tigers pulling ahead in the final minutes to clinch the victory. It was tied at 9-9 with less than five minutes remaining when sophomore midfielder Elizabeth George scored two back-to-back goals off of assists from senior midfielder Olivia Hompe and sophomore midfielder Kathryn Hallett.


Cornell, however, put the first points on the scoreboard with two quick goals within the first three minutes of play, but Princeton soon responded with five goals from five different players, including freshman midfielder Tess D’Orsi and junior midfielder Ellie McNulty, to bring the tally to 5-2. Cornell’s Taylor Reed scored toward the end of the first half to lower Princeton’s lead to two as they headed into the second half of the match.

The half was competitive, the Tigers scoring four more goals and the Big Red responding with an additional seven to round out the score to 9-9 with just minutes remaining. The four Princeton goals came from Hompe, George, and senior midfielder Anna Doherty.

The game, however, concluded with a Princeton win at 11-9, 15 saves and a single-season record from senior goalkeeper Ellie DeGarmo, 72 season goals for Hompe, and career high of four goals for George.

The Orange and Black advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time in three years in a May 21 rematch against Penn State who had defeated Princeton in its first loss in March.

The game was even more contested than the last as No. 4 Princeton and No. 6 Penn State went back-and-forth, tying nine times and switching leads seven times. George, Hompe, McNulty, Hallett, D’Orsi, junior attacker Colby Chanenchuk, and sophomore attacker Allie Rogers all contributed goals to convert a 6-5 halftime PSU lead to a tense 12-11 tally in the last six minutes of the game. But a Princeton yellow card and three late Penn State goals gave the win to the Nittany Lions, ending an exhilarating and historic season for the Tigers.

In addition to a notable season for the team, 2017 saw many individual accomplishments, including those of Hompe, DeGarmo, and junior midfielder Abby Finkelston.


The Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association announced first-team All-America honors for Hompe and DeGarmo three days after the first NCAA match. The 2017 Ivy League Attacker of the Year, Hompe leads the nation in goals (4) and shots (8.33) per game and is third in points per game (5.94). She contributed 110 points, 75 goals, and 35 assists during the 2017 season and is Princeton's current all-time leading scorer and goal-scorer at 285 points and 198 goals.

DeGarmo’s accolades aren’t any less impressive. The goalkeeper has amassed a record of 235 season saves and she is also a national leader for her second consecutive season with a .556 save percentage and 12.2 average saves per game. The Ivy League Tournament MVP, DeGarmo is in consideration for a second Goaltender of the Year title. Both Hompe and DeGarmo were contenders for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the most outstanding American lacrosse player.

The individual honors didn’t stop with Hompe and DeGarmo, as Finkelston was given the One Love Foundation’s 2017 YRL Unsung Hero Award last week. The award is given annually to a male and female Division I lacrosse player who has demonstrated dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness, and sportsmanship, all of which Finkelston has embodied throughout the season as a team leader despite her hip injuries and as a member of Best Buddies and founder of the Wounded Tigers Network.

With the leadership of Hompe, DeGarmo, and Finkelston, and the hard work and perseverance of a talented roster, the team finished the 2017 spring season honorably with an overall record of 15-4, its 13th Ivy League title, a third Ivy League Tournament championship, and its 25th NCAA appearance.

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