Washington, Pa. – In an instant classic of a match, the Transylvania women's lacrosse team fell in overtime to the Washington & Jefferson University Presidents, 12-11 Sunday afternoon at Alexandre Stadium.
The Pioneers and Presidents linked up for the first time Sunday in the 2017 Ohio River Women's Lacrosse Conference regular season slate with each team carrying an undefeated conference record into the meeting.
As was the case in last year's regular season finale, both teams were undefeated in conference entering their first and lone matchup.
2017's installment of the clash was as exciting as last season's finale in Lexington, when the Presidents seized the conference title with a 10-8 win. Saturday afternoon's game would feature five lead changes and seven ties.
The first seven minutes of Sunday's action were a story of back-and-forth action as sophomore attack Alexis Rubin tied the game at 1-1 with the Pioneers' first goal of the day, and sophomore attack Lindsey Jenkins provided the second tying goal of the day at the 23:50 mark of the first half. Jenkins's connection spurred a string of four straight goals by the Pioneers that saw them claim their largest lead of the day at 5-2.
The Presidents swung back with the next three goals in a span of less than one minute to tie the game at 5-5.
An on-fire Rubin scored her fourth goal of the half on a free-position shot to give the Pioneers a 6-5 lead, but Washington & Jefferson's Monica Ewansik answered back with two more goals as the Presidents went ahead, 7-6. Transylvania scored two of the final three goals of the half as the intermission saw the teams tied at 8-8.
The second half took on a much more defensive tone as each team scored three goals apiece over the following half hour. Freshman attack Brianna McCulley scored two goals in the second half for Transylvania, her last coming at the 13:22 mark of the second as the Pioneers claimed an 11-9 lead. But the goal dried up for the Pioneers for the rest of regulation.
Clinging to a two-goal lead, the Pioneers saw their lead erased at the 5:34 mark when Ewansik scored again to force an 11-11 tie. For the final five and a half minutes of regulation, neither team could find the go-ahead goal, and the contest headed into overtime.
It was Ewansik who delivered the game-winner 2:06 into overtime to hand the Presidents a 12-11 sudden victory to cap off a pendulum-styled contest of momentum.
Rubin led the Pioneers in goals, tying her single-game career-high with five. McCulley and sophomore midfielder Emma Oliver each scored two goals in defeat, while Oliver and Rubin each had a game-high five ground balls each.
Sophomore goalie Mackenzie Dent had 11 saves in a losing effort for the Pioneers.
Transylvania outpaced the Presidents in clearance percentage, as the Pioneers cleared all but two rides for the afternoon. Washington & Jefferson won the battle of turnover margin by plus-four.
The result sends the Pioneers to their first loss of ORLC play, making them 4-1 in conference, and 9-2 overall. The loss also ended Transylvania's eight-game winning streak, their second-longest in school history.
With the win, the Presidents improved to 3-0 in ORLC play.
The Pioneers are back in action next Sunday, April 16 as they play at home against Hendrix College in a nonconference tussle. That game is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start at Pat Deacon Stadium.
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