Wilmington Lacrosse Season Comes to an End with 15-10 loss to No. 1 Holy Family in CACC Semifinals
WLax: #4 WU 10 - #1 Holy Family 15
Saturday, May 5, 2012 - Lakewood, N.J.
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Junior Kaitlyn Hall made 13 stops, eight in the first half, for Wilmington
Freshman Rebekah McCurry scored three goals on Saturday
Sophomore Jess Stratton scored three goals on Saturday
The Wilmington University lacrosse season came to a close on Saturday afternoon, as the fourth seeded Wildcats could not overcome top seed Holy Family, 15-10, in the first semifinal of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament hosted by Georgian Court University.
The Wildcats (9-8 overall) cut the deficit to two with on a pair of occasions, the last coming after back-to-back goals with 15:41 remaining in regulation, but could not get any closer as Holy Family (13-4) scored five of the final seven goals to advance to the CACC Championship game on Sunday.
The Tigers, the CACC regular season champions, avenged the only conference loss they received by defeating Wilmington in its next two meetings, including today in the semifinals. The Wildcats were the only conference team to take down Holy Family in the regular season, a 13-11 victory on March 20.
On Saturday, the Wildcats started out fast, scoring the game’s first goal as Jess Stratton beat Tiger goalkeeper Melissa Jenkins 3:47 into the contest. The goal came after Wildcat goalkeeper Kaitlyn Hall made a stick save on a free-position shot to open the game.
But the Wildcats couldn’t stem the momentum they created with the first goal as Holy Family knotted the score with 23:42 left in the first half. The Tigers then tallied three more goals in a row, making it 4-1 in favor of the number one seed with 18:48 to play.
Rebekah McCurry ended the streak with a goal nearly nine minutes after Holy Family’s fourth tally, making it 4-2 with 9:49 left in the first half. The Tigers didn’t hesitate to keep the Wildcats at an arm’s length, however, as they retaliated with two more goals of their own to make it 6-2 with 7:08 to play. The teams traded one goal apiece to close out the first half, as the Wildcats converted a one-timer as Molly Taylor slammed home nice feed from Liz Case for their third and final goal of the half.
Wilmington came out on fire again to start the second half, scoring the first goal of the second stanza nearly a minute and a half in. This time, it was Case who tallied the goal on a feed from Brittany Rhodes to get the ball rolling in the second frame.
After Holy Family got on the board with a goal, the Wildcats cut the deficit to two for the first time of the second half with back-to-back goals by Megan Keffer and Stratton. The two goals came 13 seconds apart as Stratton controlled the draw following Keffer’s goal and took it down the field, beating Jenkins again to make it 8-6 with 22:35 remaining in regulation.
The Tigers bounced back and stretched the margin back out to four with a pair of goals over a two minute mark, leading 10-6 with 17:05 showing on the scoreboard.
But the resilient Wildcats retaliated with two more goals of their own, getting back within reach as they tallied back-to-back goals in 16 seconds. After Hall made another save on the defensive end, Stratton tallied her third goal of the game to make it 10-7 with 15:57 to play. Meggan Apgar collected the ensuing draw control and passed it off to McCurry for her second goal of the game and to bring it to within two, 10-8, once more with 15:41 to play.
Unfortunately, that would be as close as the Wildcats would get in the match, as the Tigers seized momentum and scored the next four goals of the game to take a commanding 14-8 lead with only 7:37 left in regulation.
Wilmington would score twice more in the final five minutes of play, but it was too little too late as Rebecca Guethler capped the scoring at the 1:24 mark to make it 15-10 in favor of the top seed.
Stratton and McCurry led the Wildcats with three goals apiece, while Keffer, Taylor, Case, and Guethler tallied the remaining four goals. Case finished with two points by adding an assist while Rhodes also tallied an assist for the Wildcats.
Hall recorded 13 saves, eight in the first half to keep the Wildcats in the ballgame. The Wildcats were outshot 41-19 in the game, but had 15 of their shots reach the cage. Jenkins made five stops in goal for the Tigers.
The game was the final contest for three Wilmington seniors, as they wrapped up their college careers by reaching three CACC Tournaments in four seasons. Guethler, Jess Graybeal and injured Kory Webster played their final games while donning the Green and White.
Wilmington finished the season 9-8 overall, and 6-6 in the CACC. They are now 0-3 all-time in the CACC Tournament, 0-2 against Holy Family. Stratton and McCurry were named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts.