WHEELING – The West Virginia Wesleyan lacrosse team left everything they had on the field in their Mountain East Conference tournament semifinal match-up with the host Wheeling Jesuit Lady Cardinals Friday at Bishop Schmitt Field.
The final score was 13-7 but the contest was a lot closer than the final score would indicate.
Kim Lubic gave the Lady Bobcats a quick 1-0 lead after 70 seconds of action with an unassisted goal.
Wheeling Jesuit scored the next two over a two-minute period, but Wesleyan responded with two goals of its own for a 3-2 lead.
Lubic scored her second goal of the game with the assist going to Katie Kennedy and Maria Seager tallied an unassisted goal for the scoring.
Wheeling Jesuit scored two more for a 4-3 lead but Madeline Gorzka tied the game at the 8:44 mark of the first half with an unassisted goal.
The Lady Cardinals scored the final two goals of the first half for a 6-4 lead at the intermission.
Wheeling Jesuit came out of the break and scored two minutes into the second half for a 7-4 advantage.
Seager scored again with another unassisted goal two minutes later to make it a 7-5 contest.
Over the next 19 minutes of action, Wheeling Jesuit scored three straight for a 10-5 advantage with seven minutes remaining.
Wesleyan kept fighting as Lubic tallied her third goal of the game at the 6:47 mark with the assist going to Madison Duvall.
Duvall scored her own goal a minute later to bring Wesleyan to within three, at 10-7, with 5:35 left in the contest.
Wesleyan though couldn’t get any closer as Wheeling Jesuit scored the games’ final three goals.
Wheeling Jesuit led in shots-on-goal by a 23-11 margin.
Wesleyan keeper Alexus Bonner turned away 10 shots.
The Lady Bobcats ended their year with a 4-11 record.
Shepherd defeated UVa.-Wise by an 17-6 score in the other semifinal clash.
Wheeling Jesuit then downed Shepherd for the title on Sunday. The Cardinals avenged last season’s loss to the Rams to claim their first-ever tournament title in the sport.
Kori Hickman, the Tournament MVP, had a role in nine of WJU’s 14 goals in the championship scoring once and assisting on eight others. Paige Plesich scored four goals and Lyndsay Carpenter had three. Brianna Wahle forced four turnovers and had seven ground balls in the game.
Sarah Wendt had three goals and Haley Price added two more for Shepherd in the loss.
WJU grabbed the early lead with a pair of scores, but Shepherd responded with three of their own to take the lead. The Cardinals seized control of the game scoring seven of the game’s next nine goals to take a 9-5 lead into the half.
Shepherd won the opening draw in the second half, but couldn’t convert on offense. Wheeling Jesuit scored the next two goals in the game to move ahead 11-5. Wendt found the back of the net for Shepherd to cut the deficit to five with still 19 minutes left, but neither team would score for the next 10 minutes, and it was Hales for WJU that pushed it back to a six-goal game.
The Rams got to within 12-8 with 5:47 left after a Brooke Hunley goal and got the ball after Wheeling Jesuit won the draw, but turned the ball over. The Cardinals put the game away with a score from Plesich and a free-position shot from Markie Wright within :20 seconds of each other to put the game away.