No. 2 Generals Fall in NCAA Regional Semifinal to No. 8 Wesleyan, 13-7

Brianna Hayes '19 playing defense

GETTYSBURG, Va. — Eighth-ranked Wesleyan (Conn.) scored the final five goals of the game to defeat the second-ranked Washington and Lee women's lacrosse team, 13-7, on Saturday in the NCAA Regional Semifinals at Gettysburg College.

Holding a 4-3 lead at halftime, the Cardinals (16-3) extended the margin to 5-3 just four minutes into the second half, but then senior attacker Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va./St. Catherine's) cut the deficit back to one, 5-4, at the 24:55 mark with a driving goal on the right side of the cage.

The advantage was quickly pushed back to two (6-4), as senior attacker Caitlin Wood scored a player-up goal with 22:04 left in the contest. Once again, the Generals (18-3) responded when junior attacker Dani Murray (Denver, Colo./Kent Denver) drove from the left side, cutting to the middle in front of the crease, and deposited the ball in the goal (6-5) at the 20:28 mark.

Over the next nine minutes, the teams traded goals with Tucker scoring with 10:57 to go in the game to pull the Generals to within one (8-7), and then Murray had a free-position attempt with 10:21 on the clock. She drove to goal on the left side, and appeared to register the equalizer, but the back official whistled a charge to nullify the tally.

With the quick change in momentum on the call, Wesleyan recorded the final five scores of the game to secure the 13-7 victory. The Wesleyan defense swarmed the Blue & White on offense, led by junior goalkeeper Allegra Grant who finished the contest with 11 saves. The Cardinals also forced the Generals to commit 16 turnovers.

Tucker led the team with two goals and one assist, while Murray also added two goals. First-year attacker Katherine Faria (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) had one goal and one assist. Tucker ends her career 10th all-time in points with 172 and fifth in career goals with 136.

Junior goalkeeper Elliot Gilbert (Bedford, N.Y./Deerfield Academy) played the whole game, stopping seven shots and collecting four ground balls.

Junior midfielder Abby Manning led Wesleyan with two goals and two assists, sophomore attacker Kat Cucullo totaled three goals and sophomore midfielder Sydney Prokupek added two goals and one assist.  

The Cardinals scored the first three goals of the contest to grab a 3-0 lead by the 21:10 mark. Wesleyan was aided in its early run by winning three of the first four draw controls. Senior attacker Maddy Graves (Cos Cob, Conn./Greenwich) put the Generals on the board with 15:59 left in the contest, with a goal right in front crease off a feed from Faria.

Murray trimmed the deficit to 3-2 at the 9:52 mark with a goal from the left side of the scoring area, but the Cardinals extended the advantage back to two (4-2), when junior midfielder Julia Gretsky's free-position shot deflected off a defender's stick and over Gilbert for the tally with 5:31 left in the half.

A give and go goal with 3:30 on the clock from senior attacker Cordelia Peters (Larkspur, Calif./Hotchkiss) to Tucker and then back to Peters in front of the cage trimmed the deficit to one, 4-3, which proved to be the halftime score.  

The Generals finish the season with an 18-3 record. The 18 wins mark the second-most in a single-season in program history, just one off the program record of 19 set in 2019.  

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