WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster women's lacrosse team raced out to a 7-1 start, and later strung together a series of goals to pull away from Kenyon College, 16-10, in the semifinals of the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday evening at John P. Papp Stadium.
Now, Wooster (16-1) travels back to Granville, Ohio, where for the second straight year, the Fighting Scots will square off with top-seeded Denison University (14-4) with the tournament title on the line. Opening draw for Sunday's game at Deeds Field-Piper Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Eight days ago, it was Kenyon (13-5) storming out of the gate with a 5-1 lead in what eventually resulted in a razor-thin 15-14 Wooster win. Senior Emma Lawrence made sure Thursday's start went much better. The Scots' midfielder won the opening draw, and Wooster was off to the races with sophomore Ashley Boersma finding the back of the net just 19 ticks into the game. Goals by sophomore Alexa Mellis and junior Jenny Grossmann followed soon after. Later, the Scots converted on three free-position chances, including a pair by senior Megan Healy, and the Scots found themselves up 7-1 with 7:45 to go in the half.
Sophomore Katie Shideler and Healy were equally as important in building the early lead. Four of Shideler's seven first-half stops came before the six-goal cushion, while Healy tallied three of her game-high six caused turnovers in the opening 21:34.
Led by Cassie Hudson-Heck, Kenyon made things interesting over the opening half's final 2:33. That's when the Ladies scored three times, including twice in the final minute to pull within 8-6.
|Senior Emma Lawrence closes in on the goal during Wooster's 16-10 win over Kenyon in the semifinals of the NCAC Tournament.|
Likewise to the first half, Lawrence sparked the Scots after intermission – this time offensively, as the senior weaved her way through the Ladies' defense for a pair of scores, while Mellis' goal with 23:50 remaining had the Black and Gold back up five at 11-6.
Maggie Grabowski's score with 20:39 remaining pulled Kenyon within 11-9, while a little over a minute later, Healy netted the third of her game-high four goals. That sparked a 5-0 stretch, and the game was already pretty much out of reach when senior Jordan Stone capped the run with a free-position score with 1:42 left.
Grossmann, Lawrence, Mellis, and Stone backed Healy up with two goals each, while the Scots' standout midfielder also led the team in draw controls (7) and groundballs (5).
Noteworthy, Mellis upped her season goal haul to 53, a total tied for the seventh-most in program history.
Shideler finished with 12 saves and sophomore Lauryn Hill made a bit impact defensively with two caused turnovers and two groundballs.
Lucy Somers' three goals led Keyon, while Maggie Grabowski's 11 draw controls marked the game high.
Similar to last week's contest, both teams finished very close statistically, with the Ladies edging out the Scots in shots (34-30), groundballs (27-22), and draw controls (17-11). Wooster did have one fewer turnover and three more saves.