PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- A furious comeback attempt brought the Saint Mary's lacrosse team close but Saint Joseph's managed to hang on as the Gaels fell 16-13 in the first game of their three-game Eastern swing.
Saint Mary's (2-4) battled gamely in the first half, but Saint Joseph's (6-3) closed the half with four unanswered goals to lead 9-4 at the break.
The Hawks continued to find the net in the early stages of the second half, building the lead to 13-5 when Val Paolucci scored with 19:31 left.
That's when Saint Mary's kicked into high gear offensively. Goals by Amanda Cross, Jaclyn Biggers and Anna Turpit brought the deficit to 13-8 with 16:07 remaining.
After three more goals by Saint Joseph's, the Gaels staged their comeback bid. They would score five goals in the final six minutes of the match, with Jillian Chong finding the net twice to cut into the Hawks lead.
The late rally fell just short though, as time ran out with Saint Joseph's still in front.
Chong and Biggers each scored four goals to lead Saint Mary's. Cross added three goals, and assisted on three others to tie Chong for the team lead in points with six.
Saint Mary's continues its road trip on Sunday when it takes on Sacred Heart at 10 a.m. (PDT).