May 12, 2010

Courtesy of Kenyon Athletics

GAMBIER, Ohio - After waiting 37-years to play in the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament, the Kenyon College women's lacrosse team made sure its stay on the national stage wasn't a short one. The Ladies seized control of a tight contest early in the second half and outlasted the College of Wooster, 19-14, Wednesday at Mavec Field in Gambier.

The Fighting Scots tied the game, 9-9, within the first two minutes after halftime, but Kenyon quickly responded with a flurry of goals. At the 25:44 mark, senior Isabel Plourde (Concord, NH/Derryfield School) broke the stalemate with her first goal of the year. Freshman Leah Sack (Wynnewood, PA/Lower Merion) then set up two scores to classmate Emily Nichols (Caldwell, NJ/Caldwell) in a 40-second span. Junior Jenny Fitzgerald (Cranford, NJ/Cranford) and sophomore Monty Sherwood (Ipswich, MA/Waring School) tacked on unassisted goals to build the Ladies' lead to five, 14-9, by the midway point of the period.

After the Kenyon outburst, Wooster twice got within four but couldn't pull any closer thanks largely to the work of senior Chase Kreuter (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich Academy) in goal. After being named the North Coast Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year earlier in the day, Kreuter turned in her best performance of the year with a 17-save effort against 40 shots directed at the cage.

The Ladies also bunched their scoring together in the first half, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 9-5 advantage over a 13 minute stretch. Nichols keyed that run with three goals and Sack rang up a goal and two assists. The first-half lead didn't hold up, however, after the Scots wrapped a 4-0 surge around the intermission.

Nichols, the newly-selected NCAC Newcomer of the Year, finished with a game-high six goals while Sack led all scorers with four goals and four assists for eight total points. Sherwood, Fitzgerald, and senior Liz Hancock (Hopkins, MN/Hopkins) each added two goals and an assist to the Kenyon cause.

The contest matched the Ladies and Scots against one another at Mavec Field for the third time in as many weeks. Wooster triumphed in the last meeting, a 10-8 victory in the NCAC Tournament Championship game on May 1. Kenyon claimed the inaugural contest by a 20-8 margin on April 24. The victory not only allowed the Ladies to take the season series against the Scots but also made Kenyon the first NCAC team to win a game in the NCAA Division III women's lacrosse tournament.

As a reward, the Ladies advance to face the No. 1-ranked Hamilton College in Saturday's second round. The Sweet 16 showdown between Kenyon and the 18-0 Continentals begins at 11:30 a.m. at Hamilton's Steuben Field.