Wilmington Lacrosse Falls 12-6 to St. Thomas Aquinas in Cold and Wet 2013 Debut
WLax: St. Thomas Aquinas 12 - Wilmington 6
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - Newark, Del.
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Junior Jessica Stratton led the Wildcats in their 2013 season opener with a pair of goals against St. Thomas Aquinas. Photo from 2012 season. Copyright 2012; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.Graduate Student Liz Case assisted on the first goal and scored the second goal of the game for the Wildcats against St. Thomas Aquinas. Photo from 2012 season. Copyright 2012; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
On a cold and wet Saturday afternoon, the Wilmington University women’s lacrosse team opened its 2013 season while also playing on its brand new turf at the WU Athletics Complex for the first time, but it was St. Thomas Aquinas who stole the show, 12-6.
The Wildcats (0-1) brought back 15 faces to the program after going 9-8 overall and 6-6 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference in 2012, but after taking an early 2-1 lead 7:13 into the contest, the Wildcats were only able to get as close as two goals the rest of the way.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1-0) opening the season with a victory after going 8-8 a season ago and missing the East Coast Conference Tournament with a 2-6 record. The Spartans also returned their top two goal scorers from a season ago and Genevieve Stickney, who found the back of the net 51 times last year, got off to a fast start today, scoring three to open the season.
Graduate student Molly Taylor put the Wildcats on the board for the first time in 2013 with the opening goal of the game just 2:08 into the contest. Liz Case found a cutting Taylor in front of the cage who stuffed it home for the 1-0 lead.
After the Spartans responded with their first goal of the season 3:20 later, Case added her own goal to the box score, putting the Wildcats back in front with 22:47 to play in the first half. But after the Case goal, the Wildcats would run dry for the next 14:50, allowing St. Thomas Aquinas to take over.
During the scoring drought by the Wildcats, the Spartans rattled off four straight goals to first take the lead back, and then extend it to 5-2 with 10:34 showing on the clock in the first half.
Sophomore Megan Keffer ended the drought with her first goal, beating Spartan goalkeeper Kaitlyn Lonergan on a free position shot. But the Wildcats couldn’t hold the visitors from the scoreboard as time wound down in the half, and St. Thomas Aquinas took a 6-3 lead into the break.
Sophomore Ashley Kroll put a fired up Wildcat team on the board first in the second half as well, converting her own free position shot 1:45 into the half to close the gap to 6-4. St. Thomas Aquinas slowed the ball down following the first goal of the half and retaliated with back-to-back goals over the next 13 minutes, both on free position shots, to extend the lead out to 8-4.
Jessica Stratton tried to get the Wildcats back in the game with a pair of goals in the final 12 minutes, but every time she scored, the Spartans responded with two goals of their own to keep the Wildcats at an arm’s reach.
Stratton was the lone multiple goal scorer for the Wildcats, tallying the two goals. Case scored a goal and added the lone Wildcat assist for the game, while three other Wilmington players recorded one game each.
Kaitlyn Hall played all 60 minutes in goal for the Wildcats, making six saves in the contest. She made three saves in each half, but was saddled with the loss. Lonergan made eight saves for the Spartans, five of which came in the second half, for the victory.
The Wildcats were outshot 29-20 for the game, but were really hurt on the free position shots, converting over 2-of-7 from the eight-meter mark. On the flip side, the Spartans scored on 4-of-5 from eight meters away.
Wilmington will now take to the road for their next five matches, heading to New York next weekend for their next couple games. They Wildcats will head to Dowling to battle another ECC competitor on March 1 before heading to Mercy College on March 2 to wrap up the weekend.