Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Mikailla Spencer by Amy Short.
NEWARK, Del. - - The 2016 season debut didn't go as planned for the Wilmington University women's lacrosse team, as Queens downed the Wildcats, 12-2, on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats' (0-1) offense had a hard time finding the back of the net, despite getting 15 shots off throughout the game. Queens' (1-0) netminder Krista Ancona recorded six saves on the afternoon, including two key plays in the beginning of the game.
The Wildcats control the tempo of the game in the early going, but Gabby Spalt missed a free-position shot wide and La'Dae Boykin's opportunity was stuffed by Ancona in the opening four minutes. The Knights took the Ancona save the other way and scored on their first shot attempt of the game to steal the momentum.
The Knights were able to retain possession for the majority of the first half following their first goal, controlling more draws, 7-2, than the Wildcats in the first 30 minutes. The Knights took the draws advantage and turned them into seven straight goals to start the game.
Sara LeBrun broke the ice for the Wildcats moments before the first half whistle, scoring on a free-position shot with 23 seconds left.
The start of the second half didn't go the Wildcats' way either, as Sam Foster's attempt was stopped by Ancona and than Spalt's shot beat Ancona but hit the crossbar and bounced out to keep the score at 7-1.
Following the crossbar save, the Knights took the ball the other way and scored on their second shot of the half, opening another streak of three straight goals. Back-to-back goals by Mary Pat Gibble opened the visitors' lead to 10-1 with 21:34 to play.
Boykin got on the board for the Wildcats in the 50th minute, scoring an unassisted goal to bring the Wildcats to with 10-2. But it was too little too late, as Queens kept the pressure on the Wildcats with another draw control and another man-up goal with 15:51 to play in regulation.
The Knights outshot the Wildcats, 24-15, gained more draws, 11-5, and narrowly picked up more ground balls, 21-20.
Freshman goalkeeper Maddie Hurm made eight saves for the Wildcats, while adding four ground balls. Freshman Mikailla Spencer picked up three ground balls in her collegiate debut while Marisa Parker and Shawna Chopko led the team with two caused turnovers each.
The Wildcats return to action on Monday, as they head to Millersville for their first road game of 2016. The opening draw is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.