Washington, PA – The Transylvania women's lacrosse team's postseason conference run come to an end on Friday with a 15-13 defeat to St. Vincent in the semifinals of the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference Tournament.
The result potentially brings a record-setting season for the Pioneers to an end as their overall record moved to 13-4.
On Friday, the Bearcats of St. Vincent were able to find their measure of revenge against the Pioneers, who achieved their first victory in program history against St. Vincent earlier this season in a 14-12 comeback win. The rematch went to St. Vincent, but not without a furious resistance from the Pioneers.
Sophomore Julia Ward capped off her extraordinary season by scoring her 100th career goal as part of a four-goal day, a team-high for that category. The midfielder was aided by senior Rachel Harrison, who may have been playing in her final career game with a hat-trick to go with four ground balls. Freshman Emma Oliver, who finished the second half of her first collegiate season with momentum also matched Harrison with a hat-trick. And senior Jessica Bier finished the game with an all-around output indicative of her solid career with one goal, one assist, two ground balls, two draw controls won, and a caused turnover.
Like the first meeting of the year against St. Vincent, the game featured a second-half comeback. Unlike the first game, the Pioneers encountered a drought over the final stretch of the game.
Before the final 15 minutes of the game displayed a large chunk of the story, the first half featured a back-and-forth dance between the teams. The Pioneers scored the first two goals of the game on a free position shot by Oliver and a score by freshman Alexis Rubin for a 2-0 lead, five and a half minutes into the game.
St. Vincent then answered back with two of the next three goals, but Transylvania continued to apply pressure as Harrison scored her hat trick with three consecutive goals, leading to a 6-2 Transy advantage with 14:09 left in the first half. But the Bearcats scored five of the final six goals in the half to tie the game at 7-7 heading into the halftime break.
The second half was even moreso a game of runs than the first half. Ward went on the offensive with the first two goals of the half to push Transylvania ahead, 9 to 7. But the Bearcats scored five unanswered goals for a 12-9 cushion with 19:56 remaining in regulation.
The next six minutes of the game spurred hopes of another comeback for Transylvania to add to the story of their rivalry with St. Vincent; Ward, Oliver, and Bier each scored the next three goals of the game to tie things at 12-all with 16:16 to go in the game. St. Vincent then went ahead in the ensuing minute, before Ward struck again just 23 seconds later in a rapid-fire pace.
Ward's goal proved to be the final goal of the season for the Pioneers, who endured a 14 minute plus drought to end their run through the ORLC in 2016. St. Vincent scored the go-ahead goal with 12:51 remaining, and tacked on another for distance with 6:47 left in the game. The Pioneers earned a series of free position shots and other close-range opportunities, but the net never opened up for Transylvania the rest of the game.
The Pioneers hold hopes for an outside at-large bid to the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 13-4, and a record of 7-2 against ORLC competition.
For the Transylvania women's lacrosse team, 2016 stands out as a year of growth and development, and a sterling record to set the tone for the future of the program.
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