Johnston puts up 5 goals to lead Transylvania women's lacrosse over Aurora

Aurora 1 Transy 18

Lexington, Ky. – Rachel Johnston tied a career-high with five goals as the Transylvania women's lacrosse team delivered an 18-1 victory over the Aurora (Ill.) University Spartans Tuesday evening at Pat Deacon Stadium.

The first half belonged to Johnston, who struck with four of her five goals in the opening half as the Pioneers moved to 4-1 in their 2019 campaign. Aurora fell to 0-2 overall.

Johnston ushered in the game with the first goal and the eventual go-ahead goal, finding the back of the net 61 seconds into the contest to push the Pioneers ahead, 1-0.

Aurora's Janne Brown answered back less than a minute later as the Spartans slipped inside to knot up the game at 1-1. But Transylvania's defense dug in, holding Aurora without a goal for the rest of the evening as Mackenzie Dent picked up the win in goal while Hayle Hall and Allyson Benz each later also saw action in the net. The three goalies combined for three saves as their defensive unit kept offensive opportunities limited for the Spartans.

Johnston scored again on a setup from Emma Oliver with 24:44 remaining in the half to give the Pioneers a 2-1 lead and begin a string of 17 unanswered goals. Oliver followed with her own score on a free position shot to put the Pioneers ahead, 3-1, and Salem Carlow and Johnston each followed with scores to give Transylvania a 5-1 lead with 20 minutes exactly remaining in the half.

The Pioneers took a 12-1 halftime lead as their offensive consistency joined in with a suffocating defense which held the Spartans to two successful clears for the entire half.

Transylvania forced Aurora into 17 first-half turnovers to leave nothing in doubt by halftime. The Pioneers continued their stellar play into the second half, outscoring Aurora, 6-0 to put the finishing touches upon their third straight win.

Oliver finished the night with four goals and three assists while Courtney Pontious added a hat-trick and two assists. Olivia Livingston led the way with eight of Transylvania's 39 ground balls on the evening. Harper Zeitz showed off her defensive impact with a game-high six caused turnovers.

The Pioneers return to play on Sunday, March 10 at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight time when they host the Hendrix College Warriors at Pat Deacon Stadium.

For more on Transylvania women's lacrosse, follow @TransyWLax on Twitter