GAFFNEY, S.C. -- Lindenwood advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon. The Lady Lions upset Limestone by a 14-8 score in their first NCAA tournament game.
Last Saturday, the Lady Lions ended the regular season with an eight-goal loss at Limestone. Lindenwood stepped up its defensive effort though to lead it to a win when it counted the most in the postseason.
The Lady Lions jumped on top early by scoring the first four goals of the game, including two within 35 seconds of each other less than two minutes into the game. Defensively, Lindenwood allowed just one goal for the first 20 minutes and it took a 5-3 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Lindenwood came out quickly again by scoring the first three goals of the half to go up 8-3. Limestone was able to cut that down to 9-7 with 12 minutes remaining, but the Lady Lions were able to close it out. After both teams turned the ball over, Erin Abbott scored to put the Lady Lions up three. Another Limestone turnover led to a Maddi Ossello goal, and Lindenwood had a comfortable four-goal lead down the stretch. The Saints scored once before the Lady Lions added three goals in the final four minutes.
Lindenwood had a 32-18 advantage in groundballs which was the big statistical difference in the game. The Lady Lions had three more shots, and draw controls and turnovers were nearly equal.
Defensively, Christine Hehmeyer had seven saves in the contest. Six of those saves came in the first half to help the Lady Lions take the lead into halftime. Palmer and Hehmeyer each finished the game with five groundballs.
The Lady Lions become the first program at Lindenwood to advance to an NCAA tournament semifinal round. The Lady Lions will face Lock Haven next Saturday at 11 a.m. ET in Salem, Va. The winner of that game will take on the winner of Adelphi and No. 3 LIU Post for the national championship on Sunday.