Storm Falls in ECC Opener to Visiting STAC

Julia Kudla
Julia Kudla

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – After jumping out to a 4-0 lead, the Lake Erie College women's team couldn't hold on as visiting St. Thomas Aquinas College came back for a 12-11 win to spoil the Storm's East Coast Conference opener Saturday (April 9) at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium in Painesville.

Sophomores Meredith Howe (Fayetteville, N.Y./Jamesville Dewitt), Allison Trombetti (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy) and Julia Kudla (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton) accounted for four goals in the opening 6:15 as the Storm (2-5, 0-1 ECC) raced out to the early advantage.

St. Thomas Aquinas (2-1, 1-1 ECC) got on the scoreboard in the seventh minute, and sophomore Brittany Rabuano (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) responded for Lake Erie to make it a 5-1 game nine minutes in.  But the Spartans closed the half on a 6-1 run, culminating with Liz Gronwoldt's goal with three seconds remaining to make it 7-6 in favor of the visitors heading into the locker room.

Following a scoreless nine minutes to start the second half, Kudla scored her third goal of the game to tie it at 7-7. She then assisted on Rabuano's second goal that allowed the Storm to regain the lead.

Anne Buttafuocco and Sara Schmidt scored less than a minute apart to give the Spartans the lead back, and Johanna Mitchell found the net for the second time on the day to make it a 10-8 game with 14:19 to play.

Kudla hit Rabuano cutting in front of the net to cut the deficit to one with 11:45 left but Laura Neary increased it back to two less than 45 seconds later. 

A charge call on the Storm negated a goal near the ten minute mark, but Kudla connected with 6:6 to go to bring Lake Erie back within a goal. STAC answered with a Stephanie Brown goal a minute later to push it to 12-10.

Freshman Annie Mendoza (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Catholic) scored with 1:16 remaining but STAC won the ensuing draw and ran out the clock.

Kudla finished with a team-high four goals and two assists. Rabuano scored three times and Howe twice for the Storm. Sophomore Brittanie Johnson (Hilliard, Ohio/Darby) made 11 saves.

Buttafuocco matched Kudla with four goals and two assists and Brown, Mitchell and Alannah McCallister each scored two.

Lake Erie is back on the turf of Britt Stadium on Sunday,  April 10, with and East Coast Conference game against sixth-ranked C.W. Post at noon.

-LEC-