GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Wesleyan women's lacrosse team's historic 2018 season has come to an end, as the Cardinals were defeated by Little Three rival and No. 6 Amherst in the third round of the NCAA Championships on Saturday afternoon, 12-6.
Wesleyan—ranked No. 15 in the national polls—ends its season with a program-best 12-7 record. In addition to setting a record in wins, the Cardinals also claimed their first-ever NCAA Tournament victories by defeating No. 12 Messiah (13-10) and No. 18 St. John Fisher (11-6) in the first and second rounds, respectively. The Mammoths have advanced to the regional finals tomorrow where they will play No. 3 Gettysburg at 2:30 p.m.
The Cardinals outscored Amherst in the second half, 4-3, but the seven-goal halftime deficit was too large to overcome. They were led by Sydney Prokupek '21 who finished with three points off one goal and two assists, while Emi Ogden-Fung '19 led the team with two goals and sophomore goalie Allegra Grant made 11 saves. Four players scored multiple goals for the Mammoths as Claire Dunbar led the way with three scores and four assists.
- It was all Amherst in the first half as the Mammoths jumped out to an 8-0 lead behind an efficient offense and stifling defense.
- The Cardinals, who struggled to get a shot off for most of the half, snapped Amherst's scoring run with their first of the game at the 4:53 mark. Ogden-Fung received a pass in the middle of the defense and fired a back-handed shot past Mammoth goalie Taila Land.
- Just over a minute later, Ogden-Fung sent a defender to the ground with a juke move, leaving her wide-open in front of the net as she bounced it in to cut the deficit to six with 3:18 to play.
- Amherst would add another goal in the closing minutes to claim a 9-2 halftime lead.
- It was a different story early in the second half. After a Mammoth goal from Katherine Malone in the opening seconds, the Cardinals rallied with a 3-0 run led by Prokupek.
- Caitlin Wood '19 got things started with a goal off an assist from Prokupek at the 26:09 mark. Less than a minute later, Prokupek found Rylee White '21 as she buried one into the top right post, and less than three minutes later, Prokupek scored her own off a free position shot into the top right corner.
- However, Amherst's defense held the Cardinals scoreless for the next 19 minutes as Dunbar and Isabelle Sennett scored goals at the 13:47 and 10:31 marks, respectively, to put the game out of reach.
- Grace Andonian '20 scored the final goal of the game with 4:17 to play off a free position shot.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Junior Caroline Sgaglione led Wesleyan defensively with four caused turnovers while picking up three ground balls. Grant led all players with eight ground balls and Indigo Pellegrini de Paur '21 had three draw controls.
- In addition to Dunbar's three goals, Sennett also scored three while Julia Crerend and Hannah Fox each scored twice. Maia Noyes dished out two assists, led all players with seven draw controls, and also recorded a team-high three caused turnovers. Land stopped 4-of-10 shots she faced.
- Wesleyan held a 21-11 edge in ground balls but was outshot 32-13. Both teams turned the ball over 19 times and went 2-for-4 on free position shots, but Amherst was 15-of-16 on clear attempts while the Cardinals went 16-of-22.