The Erskine College women's lacrosse team rallied from a 9-7 deficit with five straight goals in the second half en route to a narrow 13-11 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday afternoon at Tate Field.
Lees-McRae (3-2, 0-2 CC) outshot Erskine (4-7, 1-5 CC) by a 28-23 margin, including a 14-11 edge in the second half, as the Bobcats converted 15-of-19 clears and scooped up 52 ground balls. The Bobcats controlled 13-of-25 draws, while slotting home 5-of-10 free position attempts; Erskine converted 6-of-9 tries from the arc.
Olivia Gudewich (Frederick, Md.) led the way for Lees-McRae with four goals and one assist, as Taylor Drake (Naples, Fla.), Katelin Rooney (Naples, Fla.), and Jessica MacConnell (Cary, N.C.) each tallied two strikes. Nicole Dupont (Fort Myers, Fla.) added two assists, while Rooney tallied game-highs of nine ground balls and seven draw controls. Gudewich and Drake chipped in eight and seven grounders, respectively, as Mia Emmerson (Orlando, Fla.) posted six saves.
Samantha Burns paced the Flying Fleet with five goals, three assists, and five ground balls, while Von McKenzie added a hat trick with three goals on five shots. Hilary Henry and Anna Dailey chipped in two goals each, as Kelly Dalziel tallied a team-high six grounders to go along with a goal and an assist. Konstandena Brown made 14 saves for the Fleet in the contest.
Erskine jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before the Bobcats responded, scoring four of the next five goals to take a 4-3 advantage on Gudewich's first strike of the day at the 5:07 mark off an assist from Jessica Travers (Asheville, N.C.). The Fleet would answer with three of the next four, taking a 6-5 lead with 11 seconds left in the half on Burns' first goal of the game.
Lees-McRae responded in the early moments of the second half, opening the period with a 4-1 run to claim a 9-7 advantage with 19:52 to go on MacConnell's second of the day. Erskine answered with five consecutive goals, taking a 12-9 lead on back-to-back free position strikes from Burns, the second of which coming at the 7:28 mark.
The Bobcats would counter with two goals over the final five and half minutes, cutting the lead to 13-11 on an eight-meter shot by Gudewich with 3:36 to go. Erskine quelled the rally with strong possession down the stretch, running out the clock and clinching the victory in the final moments.
Lees-McRae returns to action on Saturday, March 23 when the Bobcats host Edinboro University in non-conference play at 12 p.m. on Tate Field.
Photo Courtesy: Katelin Rooney, LMC Athletics