GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ashleigh Caruso's goal 7:49 left in the game broke a 12-12 tie and lifted visiting Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) past Guilford College, 14-12, in the Tigers' lacrosse opener Monday.
All-American midfielder Shelby Valkiener assisted on Caruso's go-ahead score and added a key insurance tally just over two minutes later to seal RIT's triumph.
The game's final two scores came after Guilford (1-1) rallied from five down to tie the game at 12-12. Quakers' junior Lily Colley scored two of her game- and career-high six goals in the 5-0 spurt, which ended with Eleanora Keene's tally with 10:23 left in regulation.
RIT freshman Sage Sarkis enjoyed a brilliant college debut, scoring a game-high six goals. She had five first-half markers as the Tigers gradually built a 9-6 halftime lead. Valkiener, who scored 78 goals in 2012, overcame a scoreless first half and tallied twice during RIT's 3-1 spurt that started the second period. Sarkis' sixth score secured a 12-7 edge with 23:38 left.
Marlee Vlassis added four assists for RIT, which held a 41-28 edge in shots. Caruso finished with two goals. Valkiener collected eight draw controls and three ground balls, both game highs. Goalie Katelyn Crane also had three ground balls and stopped eight Guilford shots, including four on free-position shots.
Guilford's E'leyna Garcia chipped in with four points on three goals and an assist. She also picked up two ground balls and three draws. Keene tallied twice and added an assist, five draw controls and two ground balls. Goalie Liza Mettler helped keep Guilford in the game with 14 saves and three caused turnovers. She stopped six RIT free-position shots.
Guilford looks to bounce back Thursday (2/28) at crosstown-rival Greensboro College at 4:00 p.m.