Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania women's lacrosse team secured its second consecutive conference title in a 17-3 win over the Earlham College Quakers on Wednesday evening at Pat Deacon Stadium.
The Pioneers remained undefeated in their final week of regular-season play as they earned hosting honors in next week's Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference tournament semifinals and championship.
The Pioneers moved to 5-0 in HCLC play and 12-4 in their overall campaign. Earlham suffered the first loss of its conference slate to drop to 4-1 in the HCAC and 10-5 overall. With one game remaining the regular-season schedule for each side, the Pioneers secured the tiebreaker over Earlham in the conference standings.
Brianna McCulley and Emma Oliver each provided a steady dose of scoring as the midfielders finished with four goals apiece. Courtney Pontious recorded a hat-trick while Salem Carlow led the way with four assists.
Entering Wednesday evening, the Pioneers and Quakers converged upon Harry Stephenson Field with identical conference records of 4-0 and the upcoming conference tournament's number-one seed on the line.
The Pioneers made the opening punch towards repeating as conference champions by scoring the first five goals of the evening. McCulley and Olivia Livingston each carved inside for unassisted goals to begin the night. Rachel Johnston fed McCulley for a 3-0 lead with 21:19 remaining in the first half as the Pioneers began accelerating ahead.
Earlham bounced back with their first goal of the night at the 19:47 mark before the Pioneers exploded for seven straight goals. McCulley reached a hat-trick less than 16 minutes into the game as the Pioneers went up 6-1.
Earlham made its mark on the contest by scoring two of the last three goals of the half to cut its deficit to 12-3 entering halftime.
But the Pioneers unfurled another overwhelming wave of firepower with three goals to begin the second half. Emma Oliver became the second Pioneer of the evening to record a hat-trick with a goal at the 20:33 mark of the second half as the Pioneers took a 15-3 advantage.
The HCLC's number-two leader in goals, Pontious continued her offensive barrage of 2019 with her 59th goal of the season as she reached a hat-trick with 9:09 to go in the contest, leading to a 17-3 Transylvania lead.
Transylvania's defense continued to sharpen throughout the evening as the home team forced Earlham into 25 turnovers as the Quakers were rendered scoreless in the second half. The Pioneers also limited the conference's leading scorer, the Quakers' Claudette Roskamp, to just one goal on the evening.
Transylvania reigned supreme in possession, amassing 32 ground balls to 11 by Earlham and outshooting Earlham 30 to 7 in shots on goal.
Mackenzie Dent picked up the win in goal for the Pioneers as the senior logged four saves over a full 60 minutes.
The Pioneers will wrap up their 2019 regular season schedule on Saturday, April 27 as they host the Mount St. Joseph University Lions in their HCLC finale. The Pioneers will honor their senior class prior to the 1:00 p.m. opening draw in a Senior Day ceremony.
For more on Transylvania women's lacrosse follow @TransyWLax on Twitter