GEORGETOWN, Texas -- In the first of a weekend doubleheader in Texas following a fifth consecutive USA South Conference Tournament Championship, Meredith College lacrosse picked up its fourth loss on the season versus the nationally recognized Colorado College Tigers. Carlee Joseph and Maria Codispoti led the Angels with four goals apiece in the 20-18 loss.
The Tigers opened the 2018 campaign ranked among the IWLCA's top-25 Division III picks after reaching the NCAA second round each of the last two years.
Avenging Angel rookie Hanna Anderson opened the match with a free position goal in the first 2:04, but a Meredith turnover in the next play led to a quick response from Tiger Annie DeFrino. DeFrino and two teammates netted three more goals before a Holly Hite draw control resulted in Joseph's first score.
Cameron Ruffin caused her first of five turnovers after Colorado's next shot attempt, and Joseph finished the play as the Angels trailed by one at 21:42. Hite gathered the next draw, but a saved eight meter attempt from Julie Capretti gave the ball back to CC. Just after the clear Natalie Purcell forced a Tiger turnover to give Meredith another chance, but an Avenging Angel misstep sent the ball back in the opposite direction. This time Anderson interfered with CC's clear attempt, and Codispoti found Hite for Meredith's fourth point to even the match.
Colorado College spread the gap back to three, but Meredith's attack returned fire. Hite produced the next two draw controls, and she and Codispoti quickly scored to trail by one. CC's leading midfielder Steph Kelly collected the next draw, but Katie Buckman forced a turnover leading to another Joseph goal for the tie.
The Tigers found a way to hold back Hite to control the next series of draws, and Meredith found themselves with a five-point deficit and 2:28 left in the half.
Sarah Arbes caused a Colorado turnover late in the period, and Joseph and Codispoti connected for a score. Codispoti scored the final goal of the period in the next play to pull the Avenging Angels back to within three at the break.
Meredith continued to strike in the second half, leading off with a Codispoti goal from Capretti, but the Angels had no answer for DeFrino, who scored four of her match-high nine goals in the frame.
Down by four with less than 10 minutes left in regulation, Capretti launched a three-goal rally, all from the eight-meter line. Trailing by just one with less than three minutes on the clock, Joseph produced the draw and fed the ball to USA South Rookie of the Year Lilia Cruz for the shot. The attempt flew wide, and CC earned control. DeFrino dished out her lone assist to Allie Thuet for the Tiger's 20th point to hold off Meredith for the win.
Joseph and Hite combined for 17 of Meredith's 19 draw controls, and credit Arbes with the other two. Ruffin led the defense with five caused turnovers, and Purcell finished with three.
Meredith remains in the Lone Star State and will face off with host Southwestern University tomorrow at 12 p.m. (CST).