ALLIANCE, Ohio - Catholic University women's lacrosse freshman Molly Monaghan totaled three goals and four points to lead the No. 10 Cardinals to a 19-5 victory over Albion Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship at Mount Union Stadium.
Catholic (16-4) has won at least 16 games for the fifth time since 2008 while improving its record to 16-10 in 11 NCAA tournament appearances, including 7-0 in the first round.
The win sets up a second round matchup with host and Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) champion Mount Union tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Monaghan posted her third multi-goal and multi-point game of the season, finishing one goal and one point shy of her career highs. She had a hand in the Cardinals' first four goals as they built an 8-0 lead with 17:20 remaining in the first half. Junior Ally Criscuolo scored twice during the run to start the game while junior Casey Ryan totaled the first two points of her career with assists on the team's seventh and eighth goals of the season.
Monaghan did all of her scoring in the first half as the Cards led 15-3 at halftime.
Catholic's 15 first-half goals are the third-most in a half in the program's NCAA tournament history and the 13th-most in the 35-year history of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship. The Cardinals scored 17 in the first half of a 20-1 win over Washington & Jefferson on May 14, 2017 and 16 in the first half of a 22-5 victory over Western New England on May 10, 2015.
Monaghan was one of eight players who were making their NCAA tournament debut on Saturday and one of five who picked up their first points. Led by Monaghan, freshman accounted for eight goals and two assists against the Britons (14-5). Caitlyn Bowles finished two goals and Lauren Zelnik had one goal and one assist while Clare Richards and Grace Moclair had one goal apiece.
Criscuolo also finished with four points with two goals and two assists. She now has a career-high 50 goals this season giving the team two 50-goal scorers for the second-straight season. Prior to last year, it had happened just once in the team's previous 20 seasons.
Monaghan also had three draw controls and two caused turnovers while junior Alyssa Bishop totaled three caused turnovers. In goal, junior Nanci Hernandez made three first-half saves before giving way to freshman Rachel Searle who made one in the second. Sophomore Emily Bynoe had seven draw controls.
Catholic and Mount Union will meet for the second time in team history on Sunday. The Cardinals won the previous meeting between the two back on May 16, 2015 in the third round of the NCAA tournament at SUNY Cortland, 21-8.