College of New Jersey holds off Williams Lions capture 7th title in 8 years with 12-11 win


Tiffany Trockenbrod scored the only goal in overtime to give the No. 1 College of New Jersey a 12-11 victory over No. 2 Williams for the Division III women's lacrosse title yesterday at UMBC Stadium.

The Lions (15-0), who lost in the final last year to Middlebury, won their seventh title in eight years and their 11th overall. New Jersey (formerly Trenton State) has won 117 of its last 118 games.

Yesterday, the Lions also needed a big stand from backup goalie Sharon Vitulli, who finished with 13 saves including two in overtime that preserved the win.

Vitulli held off a last-second charge by the Ephs, blocking Lauren Gioia's free-position shot and then snaring Cara Shortsleeve's attempt off the carom.

The sophomore keeper relieved starter Heather Whalin, the hero of Saturday's semifinal, late in the first half. Whalin struggled against the Ephs' pick-and-roll offense as Williams took a 7-3 lead in the first 20 minutes.

The Lions, however, rallied to tie at 7-7 two minutes into the second half.

The teams traded goals until the Lions took their first lead, 10-9, on Jessica McCourt's free-position goal with 7: 07 left.

The Ephs (14-2), in their first tournament appearance, had waited a long time for their shot at the title.

Two years ago, they were unbeaten and tied with New Jersey atop the Division III poll, but college officials would not allow them to participate, because the tournament conflicted with final exams. Last year, the Ephs defeated eventual national champ Middlebury but were not selected to the tournament.

Pub Date: 5/18/98

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