Limestone slips past West Chester
Prager's six goals are the difference for the Saints
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Attack Racquel Prager delivered a back-breaking six goals as No. 3 Limestone posted a 10-9 victory against No. 6 West Chester in an NCAA Division II Women’s Lacrosse National Semifinal on Saturday.
The victory propels the Saints into their first-ever national championship game appearance where they will take on two-time defending champion No. 1 Adelphi.
Leading 10-6 with 9:06 to play in the game, Limestone’s defense stepped up as the Golden Rams rallied late. West Chester ignited their offense as Claire Grimwood, who entered with a team-high 52 goals, notched her first of the game with 5:52 remaining to narrow the gap to 10-7. Little more than a minute later Lauren Glassy found Jackie Hoover to cut the deficit to two and Grimwood connected off a pass from Shannon Hayes to pull to within one at the 3:53 mark.
West Chester, as they had off their two previous goals, claimed the draw control to take possession right back but this time turned it over less than a minute later. That would be all the Saints would need as goalkeeper Rashelle McLellan scooped up the ground ball and Limestone ran out the clock to reach their first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship Game in their 15-year history.
None of the late game defensive heroics would have been possible without the steady offensive presence throughout the first 51 minutes of the game. West Chester’s Erin Oczkowski notched a pair of goals within the first four minutes, with a score from Limestone’s midfielder Brittany Howard sandwiched in between, to make it 2-1 early on.
An offensive barrage by the Saints would launch them to a 5-2 lead with 14:38 remaining in the first half. Racquel Prager delivered the first of three straight unassisted goals for the Saints as she scored the equalizer at 23:24 and scores quickly followed by midfielder Chelsea Treat at 21:04 and midfielder Jessica Aguanno at 19:38.
Prager capped the run and pushed the lead to three with her second goal at 14:38, that coming off the 28th assist of the year for attacker Sarah Oor.
The Golden Rams produced a run of their own as Hoover ripped off back-to-back goals and Devon Lotkowski found the back of the net at 7:20 to tie the game at 5-5. Once again, it would be Prager who put Limestone up 6-5 just before the break.
That score would prove to be the difference maker as the Saints would not surrender the lead the rest of the game.
The 18 victories on the season tie the Limestone program record set by the 2010 squad which went 18-2.