ADRIAN, Mich. - The Adrian College women's lacrosse team captured its first Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference Tournament title on Saturday afternoon (Apr. 30) with a resounding 25-4 win over Carthage (Wis.) College at Performance Stadium. The top-seeded Bulldogs also won the regular season crown and had little trouble against the #2 seed Lady Reds.
"This is a great feeling to accomplish one of our team goals," said head coach John Sung. "The players have worked so hard to get to this point. All the practices and time spent working paid off. We also are excited about being the inaugural conference tournament champions and putting Adrian College in the history books."
The win improved the Bulldogs to 16-4 overall and with yesterday's win in the semifinals, the team set a new record for wins in a season. The team will await possible selection in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The selection will be made on Sunday, May 8 and currently Adrian is ranked second in the West Region. The MWLC does not have an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Carthage hung around for the first 10 minutes of the game as Adrian led 3-2 with 19:38 remaining in the opening half. Natalie Ceis scored the game's first goal just 41 seconds into it and then the Bulldogs rattled off three straight goals. Amanda Lambert, Rachel Johnston and Mary Accomando scored in a span of just under seven minutes to give Adrian a 3-1 lead.
Carthage cut the lead to 3-2 at 19:38 as Olivia Nino scored her 21st goal of the season on a free-position shot. After that it was all AC as they scored the game's next 15 goals to take a 18-2 lead with 20:03 left in the contest. Lambert scored five times during this period and Johnston scored four goals for the Bulldogs.
Nino's second goal of the game at 17:58 stopped the scoring onslaught and Hannah Sopeth scored at 15:20 unassisted for the Lady Reds. AC scored the game's final six goals as six different players found the back of the net. Danielle Smith scored her second goal of the season at 13:50 unassisted. Cassie Hoyez notched her 10th goal in 2011 at 6:49. Stacey Birlson scored her 29th goal at 4:55 from Lambert. Day, Johnston and Olivia Duncan rounded out the scoring for the black and gold.
Birlson finishes the regular season leading the team with a single-season school record 103 points. She had 29 goals and 74 assists, breaking a single-season school record. Johnston set a single-season school record with 86 goals breaking her own school record of 83 goals in 2009. Lambert finished with 97 points along with Johnston. She had 67 goals and 30 assists on the season.
Adrian won 20 draw controls on the day and were 13-of-13 on clears. The Bulldogs also forced 19 Carthage turnovers. AC was 2-for-4 on free-position shots and had a 27-14 edge in ground balls.
Amanda Faraone made nine saves for the Bulldogs improving to 7-0 in net this season. Johnston finished the game with seven goals on nine shots on goal. Lambert had six goals and a pair of assists. Day finished with three goals and two assists. Birlson led the team with four assists.