First-Half Run Lifts Blue Jays Past Mustangs in Conference Title Game
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Stevenson women's lacrosse sophomore Kathryn Merrick (Forest Hill, Md./Bel Air) scored a career-high six goals, but Elizabethtown scored eight-straight goals to end the first half and held off a late rally the 15th-ranked Mustangs en route to winning its second consecutive Commonwealth Conference championship Saturday, 14-12 at Mustang Stadium.
The loss was the first for Stevenson (16-2) since February 23, snapping the team's school record 16-game win streak.
Stevenson scored the game's first five goals, including two each from Merrick and junior Mandy Marston (Baltimore, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) to take a 5-0 lead with 16:53 remaining in the first half.
A goal by Leigh Flounlacker got the Blue Jays (12-6) on the board with 14:24 remaining and sparked a 9-0 run to put Elizabethtown in front 9-5 with 26:05 to play in the second half.
Flounlacker finished the game with three goals and four assists en route to earning Co-Most Valuable Player honors after finishing the tournament with 14 points on seven goals and seven assists in two games. She shared the honor with Rachael Waldman who totaled eight saves on Saturday and 25 for the tournament.
Junior Marissa Meiklejohn (Severn, Md./Old Mill) finally broke the streak with 23:37 remaining, snapping a 23-minute scoring drought.
However, the two teams traded goals over the next 18 minutes before Elizabethtown pushed its lead back to four at 13-9 with 5:11 left.
Led by three consecutive goals from Merrick, Stevenson pulled within one with 1:10 remaining at 13-12, but the Blue Jays won the ensuing draw control and ran down the clock until Michele Grosso scored an insurance goal off an assist from Flounlacker with just 18 seconds to play.
The Blue Jays held a 17-11 advantage in draw controls, including a 9-5 edge in the first half, while the Mustangs were whistled for 38 fouls, including 27 in the first half.
Merrick finished with a career-high seven points while junior Leah Warner (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) added four points on one goal and three assists. In goal, freshman Leanne Bittner (Baltimore, Md./Loch Raven) totaled seven saves on 20 shots in 53 minutes, but suffered her second loss of the season.
Stevenson will now await selections for the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship which will be announced on Sunday at 9:30 p.m., on NCAA.com.