Trio of Hat Tricks Not Enough for Women's Lacrosse

Apr 22, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Alora Esparza, Breann Tjaarda, and Bridget Schirmers each scored three times for the University of Dubuque women's lacrosse team, but it fell short as the Spartans were held to just three goals in the second half of a 14-12 defeat to Rockhurst on Wednesday night.

Despite outshooting the Bluejays (5-7, 1-4 RMAC), 11-8 in the second half, the Spartans were outdone on the scoreboard, 5-3. Rockhurst's decisive 4-0 run run starting at the 19:21 mark put UD in a 13-10 hole. Esparza netted her third goal with 8:44 remaining and Tjaarda concluded the game's scoring at the 1:55 mark as the Spartans couldn't complete their comeback attempt. Esparza and Tjaarda combined for all three unassisted Spartan goals in the second half.

The Spartans (9-6, 2-3 CCIW) had to adjust their offensive game plan as they were without the services of their leading scorer, Judy Borah, in their final non-conference matchup.

It was a game of runs in the first half after the Spartans 5-0 burst gave them a 7-3 advantage with 14:51 to go. Rockhurst responded by netting six of the half's final eight goals, including a four-goal run by the Bluejays' Shayna Stevens, en route to a 9-9 tie at the break. Outside of the hat trick trio, Elisa Thode, Kelly Wetherald, and Haley Shilts each scored in the first for the Spartans. Wetherald tallied a team-high two assists as well.

Rockhurst's Stevens finished with a game-high six goals and added one ground ball in the effort.

Defensively, goalkeeper Chelsea Hawkins and Brooke Crossen paced the Spartans with four ground balls each while Schirmers caused a game-high four turnovers.

UD is currently tied with Elmhurst (8-7, 2-3 CCIW) for the fourth spot in the CCIW with one conference game remaining for each. The top four teams will advance to the CCIW tournament. The Spartans defeated Elmhurst, 11-9, last Wednesday, April 15 at home. Elmhurst will face league-leading Carthage (5-0 CCIW) on the road in their final game.

The Spartans take on Illinois Wesleyan (6-9, 1-4 CCIW) in a must-win game on the road this Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. The Titans currently own a five-game losing streak, four of those to conference foes.