Muskingum, Ohio – The Transylvania women's lacrosse team began the 2018 season with a bang, registering a dominant 21-1 win over the Muskingum University Muskies at the North Athletic Turf on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman attack Shelby Wuest and freshman midfielder Rachel Johnston each notched hat-tricks in their career debuts as the Pioneers blew away Muskingum early, scoring nine goals in a span of seven minutes.
The victory marked the second straight year the Pioneers have begun the season with a win; Transylvania defeated Muskingum 13-6 in last year's season opener at Pat Deacon Stadium and applied an even more impressive performance one season later.
Beginning their 2018 campaign on the road, the Pioneers struck in the fourth minute as Wuest rang in a new season with the first goal of her career. Johnston joined in less than one minute later as she delivered her first career goal on a free position shot.
Two minutes later, junior attack Alexis Rubin put the Pioneers ahead 3-0 on a setup from junior midfielder Emma Oliver. Johnston scored her second goal in the eighth minute to hand the Pioneers a 4-0 buffer. Freshman midfielder Salem Carlow found her first career score with 23:21 remaining in the first half on a free position shot as the Pioneers grabbed a 5-0 lead.
Johnston became the first of three Pioneers to hit the hat-trick zone on Saturday, scoring the sixth goal of the day for the Pioneers. After Oliver scored her first goal of the day for a 7-0 Transy lead, Wuest scored the next two goals to join her fellow freshman with a hat-trick.
Senior attack Julia Ward scored back-to-back goals late in the first half as the Pioneers took a 13-1 lead. Another goal from Oliver with 99 seconds to go in the half put the Pioneers ahead comfortably, 14-1.
The Pioneers outscored Muskingum 7-0 in the second half as Ward became the third Pioneer to hit a hat-trick with six minutes remaining in the contest.
Eight different players scored goals for Transylvania as Wuest led with seven goals and Johnston followed with five.
Oliver and junior defender Bailee Stevens led the Pioneers with five ground balls apiece while Stevens led with six draw controls and five caused turnovers.
Transy held a plus-seven advantage in turnovers and scored 21 of 34 shots on goal. Transylvania was perfect on its 12 clear attempts to begin the 2018 season with sharp command.
Transylvania returns to play tomorrow as the Pioneers visit the Otterbein University Cardinals in Westerville, Ohio. Opening draw is set for 1:00 p.m.
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