Women's Lacrosse Sends Seniors Out with Win

Saturday, April 27, 2013 - page 2

For the second time in four days, the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team avenged a one-goal Centennial Conference loss from last season.

Both wins came on special days. Wednesday’s win against Dickinson was a matchup designated to raise awareness for breast and ovarian cancer, and today’s win came on Senior Day – the last time six of Muhlenberg’s players would get to compete for the Mules.

Jill Freda
Freda started every game but two for the Mules over the last two years. In pregame tributes to the seniors by the junior class, she was acknowledged for her ability to yell “BALL!” at the top of her lungs.
Seniors Alex Bellini, Molly Davin, Alexandra Franck, Jill Freda, Ali Gabriele and Tiffany Kreider were honored before the game and went on to lead their team to a 16-11 victory to close out their season with three consecutive CC wins.

“It was pretty sad at first,” said Bellini. “We did some speeches in the locker room before the game and we were all in tears. But once we got onto the field we put it behind us and focused on the game because we knew we wanted to go out with a win. We just wanted to go out with a big bang because we didn’t make playoffs.”

Against a team they had beaten only once in 23 previous meetings, the Mules never trailed after sophomore Stephanie Umbach opened up the scoring 1:13 into the game, assisted by freshman Casey Armstrong.

Bellini netted a goal less than 40 seconds later to give Muhlenberg a two-goal lead.

Alex Bellini
Bellini finished her career with 87 points on 68 goals and 19 assists.
After Ursinus got its first goal, the Mules (8-7, 3-6) scored seven unanswered, including three in three minutes by junior Michelle Certosimo, to give them a 9-1 advantage with just over 14 minutes until halftime.

“Overall we were pretty confident coming into this one,” stated Bellini. “We lost to Ursinus by just one goal last year and we really felt confident coming off the win against Dickinson.”

The Mules held a 10-5 advantage over the Bears (4-12, 1-8) at the break and a 19-7 shot advantage, 15 of them on goal.

Armstrong got things going in the second half as well with an assist to Certosimo 2:17 after the break. She had four assists in the game and finished the season with 20, the most ever by a Muhlenberg freshman.

Certosimo scored a career-high six goals to go along with two assists, and three other players had hat tricks – Umbach (four goals), Davin and Bellini. It was Umbach’s 12th hat trick of the season, which tied a 10-year old school record for most in a season.

She also led the team with nine draw controls, bringing her season total to 77 – a new single-season school record.

Although Ursinus scored three consecutive goals to cut the Mule lead to four, 15-11, with 4:37 left, Certosimo put a stop to the run and iced the win with a goal following a successful clear attempt with 3:20 left.

“We always work on fast breaks but today we just decided to push it,” explained Bellini of the team’s offensive success. “We felt like when we settled it, they were kind of collapsing on us. Because we had so many points in the beginning, they were really pressuring us, so we just pushed the fast break if we had it.”

On the defensive end, Franck had a career-high five draw controls as well as a team-high four ground balls and two caused turnovers. She finished her Muhlenberg career ranked second in school history with 99 caused turnovers and tied for third with 162 ground balls.

Freda added two ground balls and a caused turnover. In goal, Kreider made nine saves, four of them on free-position attempts.

“It was awesome and I’m so happy,” said Certosimo of the Senior Day win. “I’m so proud of our team that we finished the season with three wins.

“Honestly, they brought fun to the team – it was a blast playing with them every single day,” she added of this year’s senior class. “To go out on the field with them was just amazing and I’m going to miss them so much – it doesn’t even seem real yet.”
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