Washington, Pa. – In a closely-fought thriller, the Transylvania women's lacrosse team endured a 17-15 defeat to the No. 3 seeded Saint Vincent College Bearcats Friday afternoon in the Ohio River Women's Lacrosse Semifinal match at Alexandre Stadium.
The win for St. Vincent thrusts the Bearcats into the ORLC Championship game tomorrow afternoon, while the Pioneers' season likely comes to an end at 14-3 overall, and 6-2 versus ORLC opponents.
Fresh off of its second-consecutive winning season, the Pioneers entered Friday's afternoon bout against St. Vincent looking to advance to its first ORLC Championship appearance with a would-be victory.
The matchup pitted the Pioneers against an opponent who combined with Transylvania for the highest-scoring game of the season, a 20-16 Pioneers victory back on April 2.
Like the regular-season high-scoring affair, Friday's tournament contest bore witness to a plethora of goals. Unlike the first tussle of the season, it was the tournament No. 3 seed St. Vincent who was the first team to 17 goals on Friday.
Similar to the regular season, the Pioneers burst out to a quick start, scoring four of the game's first five goals as Transylvania surged ahead, 4-1 inside the first five minutes of the game. Two goals from freshman midfielder Katie Smith and junior attacker Julia Ward propelled the Pioneers to a momentous beginning.
St. Vincent answered with a goal to cut Transylvania's lead to 4-2, but the Pioneers kept up the intensity by scoring two of the next three goals to extend their advantage to 6-2. St. Vincent and Transy traded a trio of goals over the next five-minute stretch as the Pioneers crafted a 9-5 lead.
The rest of the half belonged to the Bearcats, who scored five unanswered goals to close out the half and carry a 10-9 lead to the halftime break.
St. Vincent again turned around its fortunes by scoring five of the next seven goals, the last in that string coming at the 5:41 mark of the second half, to grab a 16-14 lead.
Rubin brought the Pioneers within one with 3:58 to go in regulation by connecting on a free position shot, but the Bearcats' Hannah Carroll scored less than one minute later to give St. Vincent a two-goal buffer at 17-15.
Ward led the Pioneers with five goals and eight total points, and added six draw controls. Rubin tallied four goals and one draw control in the loss.
Sophomore goalie Mackenzie Dent recorded seven saves in the game.
Transylvania performed well as a team in numerous categories, committing seven fewer turnovers than the Bearcats, going 5-for-9 on free position shots, and mustering a 75 percent clearing percentage versus 61 percent for St. Vincent.
With a narrow probability of earning entry into postseason play via an automatic bid, Transylvania's season comes to a close at 14-3. The 14 wins represent a program record for wins in a season, while the Pioneers' .824 winning percentage is also a program-best in its five-year existence.
For more on Transylvania women's lacrosse, follow @TransySports on Twitter