Spartans Overcome Slow Start to Set School Record in Wins

Mar 29, 2015


DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque women's lacrosse team was challenged early, but outscored Cornell College, 10-4, in the second half to claim their school record fifth win of the season, 19-12, on Sunday afternoon.

The Spartans previous record was four wins set in their 11th game of  2014. UD has already collected five wins in seven games this year with more to come.

Helping earn the victory was Kelly Wetherald, who scored a season-high five goals, and Judy Borah, who added four scores, to lead the Spartans in a bounceback second-half. After escaping the first with a narrow 9-8 lead, the Spartans (5-2, 1-0 CCIW) went on a 6-2 run to open up the second. The decisive run gave UD some breathing room and gave them a 15-11 advantage with 19:17 to go.

A pair of goals down the stretch by Haley Shilts kept the Rams at bay to give the Spartans the record-setting win. Shilts doubled her season goal total to four in the effort and also tied a team-high with three ground balls.

Facing their third straight, first-year program in Cornell (0-9, 0-2 Midwest Lacrosse Conference), the Spartans found themselves in a 2-0 hole less than five minutes into the game. The Rams' Kelly Oeltjenbruns, their second-leading goal scorer with six goals on the season, sparked the Cornell attack after netting their first three goals of the game. Oeltjenbruns finished with four goals, all in the first half, and provided the Rams last lead of the game, 3-2, at the 22:31 mark in the first.

The Spartans' offensive leaders, Bridget Schirmers and Robyn Wittkopf, helped overcome Oeltjenbruns early barrage by combining for four goals and four assists in the first half.  Two of Schirmers first half scores came off Wittkopf assists and her third came during a man-down situation with under a minute to play. Wittkopf's unassisted goal at the 17:58 mark gave the Spartans a 4-3 lead they would fail to relinquish. 

Schirmers totaled three goals and two assists on the game, while Wittkopf finished with three goals and a game-high four assists.

Cornell managed to keep it close despite being outshot by the Spartans 48-19. The Spartans also handled possession of the ball after winning 23 of 33 draw controls, limiting the Rams to 15 of 30 on clear attempts, and forcing 31 Cornell turnovers.

Breann Tjaarda was the draw control wizard once again after corralling a game-high 10. Tjaarda also snagged three ground balls and scored two goals in the win.

The Spartans take the 1-0 lead in the all-time series.

UD concludes its five-game homestand this Tuesday, March 31 against the Illinois Institute of Technology (1-6) at 4:00 p.m.