|Jill Henson||Raegen Dunn||Christine Olert|
SCRANTON - Sophomore Jill Henson (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) scored five goals and added three assists to lead the way, as the second-seed University of Scranton women's lacrosse team pulled past third-seeded Moravian late in a 20-12 victory at Weiss Field in the 2019 Landmark Conference semifinals on Wednesday.
With the win, Scranton continues their best season in program history at 16-2 and advance onto the Landmark Conference title match for the third straight season. And once again, the Royals will have to travel to Washington D.C. for the title bout, as top-seeded Catholic awaits Scranton. The Cardinals knocked off Drew in their semifinal today, 13-4.
Moravian ended their 2019 campaign with the loss, falling to 12-6 overall.
To start the game Wednesday, Moravian came out hot, opening a quick 2-0 lead on Scranton in the first two minutes of regulation. However, Scranton came back, scoring three unanswered goals to take their first lead of the afternoon at 3-2 with 21:34 left in the half.
After Moravian quickly tied the game up at three-all, the Royals once again scored three straight to open the lead back up at 6-3 with 11:25 to go in the frame. Following a Moravian goal to make it a 6-4 game, the Royals went on to end the half strongly, as they tallied three unanswered goals yet again to open their biggest lead of the game at that point at 9-4 with 7:04 left.
Moravian, however, finished the period on a 3-1 run, as Scranton went into intermission up by just three goals at 10-7.
To open the second half, however, the Royals put Moravian away for good out of the gates, as Scranton scored five unanswered goals to go up 15-7 on the Greyhounds with 19:29 to go in regulation.
Once down by eight, Moravian was unable to get back within striking distance of the Scranton lead the rest of the game, the closest being five goals on two separate occasions. Up 19-11 with five minutes left, Scranton played keep-away the rest of the game to seal an eight-goal victory to advance to the Landmark title game.
Overall, Henson was a force all game on offense for the Royals, finishing with eight total points (a season high) on five goals and three assists. Meanwhile, sophomore Raegen Dunn (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) had a hat trick with three goals and two assists, while also scooping up a ground ball.
Five different Royals had two goals, each, in the win: freshman Jennifer Williams (Branchburg, N.J./Somerville) and Halle Conklin (Point Lookout, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), seniors Christine Olert (Katonah, N.Y./Somers) and Elena Gallo (East Meadow, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) and junior Shannon Warburton (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh).
Olert's second goal was of note, as it was the 100th of the senior's decorated career at Scranton. She also had two assists in the win. Warburton, meanwhile, had five ground balls in the victory, a team-high.
Rounding out the scoring sheet for Scranton was sophomore Bridget Lalley (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) and senior Kaitlyn Murphy (Somers, N.Y./Salem), who also had an assist. Elsewhere, junior Becca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) had eight draw controls, and on defense, senior Cait Kollar (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson) had four caused turnovers. In net, sophomore Lauren Devlin (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) stopped eight shots in the victory.
Scranton now looks ahead to a match-up with Catholic on Saturday, as once again two teams ranked in the Top 20 in the IWLCA Top 25 poll will duke it out for the Landmark Conference crown (Scranton is 18th and Catholic is 10th).
In the first matchup of the year between the teams on April 13, the Cardinals pulled away late in a back and forth affair at Weiss Field, 16-13. Catholic will be in search of their sixth straight Landmark title in the game Saturday, while Scranton will be looking for their first Landmark crown.
The action begins at 12 p.m. at Catholic. More on Saturday's Landmark Conference championship game will be posted on athletics.scranton.edu at the end of the week.