WEST CALDWELL, N.J. - - Time was the only thing that stopped the Wilmington University women's lacrosse team on Wednesday afternoon, as its second half comeback fell just short, 12-11, on the road at Caldwell at the Essex Valley Field.
The Wildcats (4-6, 2-1 CACC) were on a tear in the second half, outscoring the Cougars (3-3, 1-1 CACC), 8-2, in the second half alone. But the Wildcats ran out of time, as they were unable to get a shot off after drawing to within a single goal with 55 seconds left.
The Cougars scored the final six goals of the first half to go into the halftime break lead 10-3. The Wildcats' comeback started right from the start of the second half.
Shawna Chopko controlled the opening draw of the second half and Lashay Ross found the back of the net just 34 seconds to start the rally. Chopko followed suit with a goal three minutes later to bring the Wildcats to within 10-5.
The Cougars brought up the Wildcats' momentum with a goal but Ross controlled the ensuing draw and sored just 10 seconds later to bring the Wildcats to within five goals once again. Alexis Olsen turned a Caldwell turnover into another goal before Gabby Spalt made it three in a row with a goal with 16:04 left to bring the Wildcats to within 11-8.
Caldwell's Arden Kassaleh scored her eighth and final goal of the day with 11:33 to play before the Wildcats tallied back-to-back goals to get within 12-10 with 8:18 left in regulation.
La'Dae Boykin had a free position shot with 7:10 to play but the attempt was saved. Boykin then beat the Caldwell netminder but hit the crossbar with 5:26 to play. Caldwell's Elizabeth Ruedemann would make two more saves, including another free position attempt with 2:12 showing on the clock, before Boykin found the back of the net with 55 seconds to play.
The Cougars came away with the ensuring draw control, but the Wildcats were able to force a turnover and get into the offensive zone with 30 seconds left. But the Cougars' defense stood tall, forcing the Wildcats into a turnover of their own with 10 seconds to play before the clock ran out on the Wildcats.
Boykin led the Wildcats with three goals and an assist while Ross also finished with four points with two goals and two assists. Chopko and Olsen added two goals each while Megan Card scored once and added two assists for three points. Spalt rounded out the scoring with her one goal.
Ross led the team with nine draw controls while scooping up a team high six ground balls. Card, Spalt, and Mikailla Spencer added three ground balls each while Card, Ross, and Spalt led the team with two caused turnovers each.
The Wildcats conclude their three-game road trip on Saturday with another CACC Contest. The team heads to Dominican for a 4:00 p.m. opening draw.