BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Tiffin University women's lacrosse team held off a furious rally by Lees-McRae College late in the second half, edging the Bobcats by a 14-13 margin in non-conference play on Thursday evening at Tate Field.
Lees-McRae (2-3) outshot the Dragons (1-2) by a 36-24 margin, including a 20-11 advantage in the second half, while winning the ground ball battle by a 50-22 tally. Tiffin converted 23-of-26 clear attempts on the day, as the Bobcats were successful on 14-of-18 clearing tries.
Alexandria Quast (Lockport, N.Y.) paced the Dragons with five goals and one assist, while Melissa Cooper (Woodlands, Texas) and Elyse Braun (Tempe, Ariz.) posted four and three tallies, respectively. Madeline Kane (Lake Peekskill, N.Y.) played the full 60 minutes in goal for Tiffin, recording 14 saves.
Olivia Gudewich (Frederick, Md.) and Emily Guenthner (Nampa, Idaho) led the Bobcats with three goals each, while Ellie Psillas (Hagerstown, Md.), Laura Hawthorne (Winter Garden, Fla.), and Lexi King (Woodstock, Ga.) all posted a pair of tallies. Psillas also notched game-highs of two assists and seven ground balls, while Taylor Moody (Woodstock, Ga.) recorded eight saves between the pipes for the Bobcats. Callaghan Porcher (Oviedo, Fla.) also paced the Bobcats with three forced turnovers.
Tiffin struck first early in the opening half, taking a 1-0 advantage when Emily DeMartino (Chesterfield, Mich.) converted an eight-meter shot at the 29:33 mark. The Bobcats answered with two goals in the next three and a half minutes, claiming a narrow 2-1 lead on Gudewich's first tally of the game after a well-placed feed from Hawthorne with 26:06 left in the half.
After Quast evened the tally at 2-2 less than a minute later, Hawthorne and King found the back of the net to give the Bobcats a 4-2 advantage with just over 20 minutes left in the half. Tiffin responded with six of the next seven goals, taking an 8-5 lead on Braun's first of the game with 3:26 to play in the half before Gudewich cut the margin to 8-6 seconds before the period expired.
Tiffin answered early in the second half, tallying three quick goals to take an 11-6 lead on Quast's fourth of the evening with 23:56 to play. After King cut the lead to 11-7 with her second strike of the game and Tiffin answered with a pair of tallies to push the margin to 13-7, Lees-McRae stormed back into the contest with three quick goals, cutting the advantage to 13-10 on Psillas' second of the evening with 12:18 to play.
Cooper answered with her third tally of the contest a minute and a half later to give the Dragons a 14-10 lead before the Bobcats launched a late rally, scoring three times in a four-minute span to cut the margin to 14-13 on back-to-back strikes from Guenthner.
The sophomore scored perhaps the highlight goal of the season to cut the margin to one, showcasing her speed as she carried into the arc from the restraining line and found the back of the net as she fell to the ground with less than two minutes to play. Tiffin quelled the rally from there, forcing several key turnovers below the Bobcats' offensive restraining line to hold on for the victory.
Lees-McRae returns to action on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Belmont, N.C. to resume Conference Carolinas play with a 12 p.m. matchup against Belmont Abbey College.
- LMC -