The Towson women's lacrosse team has grown as a program, but the Tigers had never won an NCAA tournament game. Until Friday.

The host Tigers controlled possession for most of the game and ran all over visiting Old Dominion, 16-5, in a first-round tournament game at Johnny Unitas Stadium.


Emily Gillingham and Natalie Sulmonte each had three goals for the Tigers (16-3), who had 10 different goal scorers. Morgan Marrale scored two goals to lead Old Dominion (16-4), which was making its first appearance in the tournament.

Towson, which had been 0-7 in NCAA tournament games, will host Penn, a 17-7 winner over Wagner in Sunday's second round at noon.

How dominating was Towson's peformance? The Tigers outshot the Monarchs 20-6 in the first half, and 16-4 in the second. If not for Old Dominion goalie Maggi Buckley's 15 saves, the score would have been much worse.

"It feels good to get that first win," senior defender Nadia Podo said. "I remember when we got into the play-in game my freshman year, and that was big. This win means a lot."

Sulmonte said that it was the Tiger's goal to get a lot of players involved.

"We had a lot of people who contributed tonight," said Sulmonte, a freshman. "I think we were patient on offense, and we waited for the open shots."

Towson started the scoring with goals by Breanna Hamm, Sulmonte, and Jenna Kerr to take a 3-0 lead with 15:36 left in the first half.

After Old Dominion used a goal by Marrale 12 seconds later to cut the margin to 3-1, Towson responded in kind. The Tigers took the ensuing faceoff, and Kerr scored 10 seconds after that to run the lead to 4-1 with 14:14 left in the half.

The Tigers scored the next four goals, two by Sulmonte, and one each by Emily Gillingham and Katie Sciandra, to extend the lead to 8-1 with 6:42 left in the half.

Old Dominion narrowed the margin with goals by Ashmore Standing, the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year, on a free position, and by Mary McCaleb to cut the margin to 8-3 at the half.

It was more of the same in the second half. The Tigers scored the first four goals after the break, with one each coming from Gillingham, Alyssa Ferro, Kaitlyn Montalbano, and Samantha Brookhart, to take a 12-3 lead and put the game away.

The Tigers now face the Quakers, who beat them 7-4 on March 19. Towson coach Sonia LaMonica said it will be a big challenge for Towson.

"They are a great team, and are very strong defensively," LaMonica said. "They are going to be tough, and we will need to give our best effort against them. I know our players will be excited for the opportunity, so I don't think I'll have to do much motivating. They will be motivated by the second chance."

NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament


Division I

(at Towson)

Towson 16, Old Dominion 5

Goals: ODU – Marrale 2, Standing, McCaleb, Danks; TU – Gillingham 3, Sulmonte 3, Montalbano 2, Kerr 2, Brookhart, Ferro, Hamm, Sciandra, Duranti, Cha. Assists: ODU – Topper 2; TU – Brookhart 3,Montalbano 2, Ferro, Gillingham. Saves: ODU – Buckley, 14; TU – Benson 1, Saxon1, Bowman 0.