Lexington, Ky. - After a physical afternoon of toil and physical play in the rain, Transylvania women's lacrosse junior attack Julia Ward struck a go-ahead goal with just over three minutes left in regulation to hand her Pioneers a 12-11 win against the Ursuline College Arrows Tuesday at Pat Deacon Stadium.
Ward's timely delivery provided a dramatic close to a contest that saw momentum sway back and forth, along with some notable individual performances for both teams.
The goal from Ward was the critical moment the Pioneers sought in a fiercely-contested second half.
Reigning Ohio River Lacrosse Conference Defensive Player of the Week, sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Dent, had an impactful afternoon with 13 saves. Dent punctuated her afternoon with two clutch saves down the stretch with the game tied .
The Pioneers improved to 3-1 on the season, collecting its first winning streak of 2017 after Tuesday's result.
In a blustery afternoon, the ball traveled all over the field as the Pioneers and Arrows combined for 39 turnovers. But with the wet conditions playing an obvious factor, the ball was also free-flowing into the net as well. The Pioneers collected six goals in the first half, as Oliver got the Pioneers on the board with 26:15 in the first half to tie the game at 1-1.
Ward then scored the next three goals for the Pioneers as they took a 4-2 lead. Ursuline countered with a flurry of goals, eventually tying the game at 5-all with under seven minutes left in the first half. Oliver scored on a free position shot to put the Pioneers ahead, 6-5 heading into the halftime break.
The Pioneers threatened to pull away in the second half as they outscored the Arrows, 4 to 1 in the first seven and a half minutes of the second period. But Ursuline's Cydney Bartlett scored five goals in the second half for the visitors to pull the Arrows all the way back into an 11-11 tie with 7:42 to go in the game.
Ursuline continued putting backfield pressure on Dent and the Pioneers, but Transy was able to get a late clear and have the final word. After heavy traffic manifested near Ursuline's crease, a loose ball was deflected by Ward's crosse and into the goal for the go-ahead score at the 3:22 mark.
Transylvania aspires to keep up its winning ways when it takes on Fitchburg State on Monday, March 13 in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Pioneers and Falcons will square off at 10:00 a.m. eastern time at the annual Spring Fling competition.
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