GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Wesleyan women's lacrosse team advanced to the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Championships for the first time in program history following a 13-7 win over No. 2 Washington & Lee on the campus of Gettysburg College Saturday afternoon.
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The eighth-ranked Cardinals (16-3) never trailed and pulled away late in the second half, closing out the game on a 5-0 run. With the win, Wesleyan advances to the Elite Eight tomorrow, May 19 and will play the host school and two-time defending national champions, No. 1 Gettysburg. The game is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. Washington & Lee, who was led by Haley Tucker's three points (2 G, 1 A), concludes its season with an 18-3 record. Today's game was the first-ever meeting between the two teams as Wesleyan snapped the Generals' 15-game win streak.
- Wesleyan jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening minutes. Johanna Copeland scored the first goal of the game at the 27:02 mark as she caught a pass from Abby Manning and sent a shot into the top left corner of the net.
- Sydney Prokupek extended the lead to two less than three minutes later with a free position goal, and Manning capped off the run with a sidearm shot into the back of the net with 21:10 on the clock.
- After 14 minutes of scoreless play from Washington & Lee, the Generals scored their first goal of the game on a one-timer from Katherine Faria to Maddy Graves in front of the net. Six minutes later, they cut the deficit to one as Dani Murray rushed through the defense and fired a shot into the top right.
- With 5:33 remaining in the half, Julia Gretsky put Wesleyan back up by two as her free position shot was deflected by a defender, sending it above the goalie's stick and into the net.
- Two minutes later, Washington & Lee scored the final goal of the half with 3:30 on the clock as Cordelia Peters sent one to the top right corner off an assist from Tucker.
- Allegra Grant was terrific in net in the first half, stopping six of her 11 saves in the first 30 minutes to help the Cardinals hold a 4-3 lead at the break.
- In the opening minutes of the second half, Manning made an excellent to pass to Cucullo who found the back of the net at the 25:43 mark. However, the Generals responded just 48 seconds later to keep it a one-goal game.
- The majority of the second half featured back-and-forth action as the teams exchanged the first eight goals.
- With 10:57 to play, the Generals cut the deficit to one once again. Shortly after, Murray scored off a free position shot to tie the game, but it was waved off and Wesleyan answered shortly after as the momentum shifted.
- The Cardinals rallied with a 5-0 run in the final nine minutes to put the game away down the stretch. During the run, Prokupek scored once and assisted on another, while Abigail Horst scored twice. Cucullo and Caitlin Wood also scored, and Gretsky assisted with an excellent pass to a cutting Cucullo who caught the ball with only the goalie in front of her.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- All seven players that scored for Wesleyan registered multiple points. Cucullo led the team with three goals, while Manning had a game-high four points on two goals and two assists. Jordan Ansell caused a game-high four turnovers and Amy Breitfeller caused two while picking up a game-high four groundballs. Grant was spectacular in net and finished with 11 saves.
- Murray and Tucker each scored twice for Washington and Lee, and Faria added two points on one goal and one assist. Goalie Elliot Gilbert made seven saves in net. The Generals caused only four turnovers compared to 11 by the Cardinals.
- Wesleyan held a slight 26-25 edge in shots but was 3-4 on free position attempts, while Washington & Lee went just 1-4. Both teams won 11 draw controls.