Bearcats Travel To Pittsburgh For Two Games

Feb. 19, 2009

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The University of Cincinnati lacrosse team travels to Pittsburgh, Pa., for two games, beginning on Friday, Feb. 20, at 3 p.m. versus Duquesne and ending on Sunday, Feb. 22, at Robert Morris at 1 p.m. Duquesne will look to rebound from season-opening losses to No. 11 Notre Dame and No. 1 Northwestern. The Bearcats, coming off a season-opening 16-6 win at Presbyterian, will serve as Robert Morris' first opponent of the 2009 season.

Cincinnati is mentored by second-year head coach Lellie Swords, who helped Johns Hopkins build one of the premier women's lacrosse program's in the nation, and led the Bearcats to a 2-14 campaign in their inaugural season. Swords was elected Secretary of the 2008-09 Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, Inc. (IWLCA) Board of Directors.


The Bearcats played both opponents at home in their inaugural 2008 season. UC lost to Robert Morris, 11-8, but produced its most offense of the early season against the Colonials. Lynsey Burton scored UC's first goal of the game and finished with two goals while Lindsey Marshall contributed her second straight hat trick. Shannon Lynes also scored two goals against Robert Morris. Karen Skelton scored at the 21:06 mark of the second period, tying the game, 8-8, but the Colonials tacked on three goals in the final nine minutes for the win.  UC lost to Duquesne last season, 16-7. Burton put her first hat trick in the books while Natalie Starvaggi, Lynes, Stephanie Cox and Marshall each scored a goal. 


Burton scored the first goal in UC history last season, on a free position attempt at the 22:10 mark of the first period at Vanderbilt on Feb. 14, 2008. Burton, a sophomore, repeated her season-opening goal scoring performance in 2009, scoring at the 28:05 mark of the first period at Presbyterian last Sunday (Feb. 15). Burton's goal against PC gave the Bearcats a 1-0 lead that they did not relinquish.


Three Bearcats spent time protecting the net against Presbyterian with freshman Katherine Russo earning the start and the win. Russo finished with six saves while Haley Marvine and Jen Mott each made one save in the second period.  


Eight newcomers started for UC against Presbyterian and proved valuable in the Bearcats win. Lauren Houck dished out a school-best four assists in the game and Laura Simanksi found the back of the net four times in her first collegiate game. Ali Mattingly scored two goals and controlled a team-high five draws while MacKenzie Parsons handed out two assists and scored a goal. LB Zinkand controlled three draws and Rachel Mercier picked up two ground balls.


Along with Marshall, Patty Kelly, Natalie Starvaggi and Paige Stratton are the 2009 captains. The group of leaders provide solid experience  for the 2009 squad that includes 15 newcomers.


The 2009 season begins UC's first year in the BIG EAST Conference. Cincinnati played a competitive schedule in 2008 as an independent and finished with an overall record of 2-14-0. The first BIG EAST game is slated for Friday, March 27, at Connecticut. UC will play seven BIG EAST contests this season, four of them at home in Nippert Stadium.


The University of Cincinnati's lacrosse team was recently featured in Lacrosse Magazine, where they were praised for their involvement with the community, including raising awareness for breast cancer, service with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign, and involvement with the 82nd Engineer Support Company (ESC), in Camp Ramadi, Iraq.