Women's Lacrosse Nearly Capture Tourney Berth

Apr 25, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - With a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament berth on the line, the University of Dubuque women's lacrosse team let slip a 7-3 lead and fell to Illinois Wesleyan, 10-9. The Spartans missed out on their first tournament berth after losing a three-way tiebreaker to Elmhurst (Ill.).

The Spartans (9-7, 2-4 CCIW) tied with Elmhurst (Ill.) and Illinois Wesleyan in the CCIW standings after the loss. Elmhurst (Ill.) won the tiebreaker after it was decided using goal differential during conference play. Elmhurst (Ill.) was -10, followed by the Spartans (-13) and the Titans (-19).

UD controlled its own destiny after coming in tied with Elmhurst (Ill.) as the four-seed. A win guaranteed a spot in the four-team CCIW tournament and the first double-digit win total in school history. The Spartans owned the tiebreaker after defeating Elmhurst (Ill.) earlier in the year, 11-9, at Oyen Field.

A 9-7 Titan lead was erased by Breann Tjaarda and Wittkopf after scoring within a minute and seven seconds of one another with 4:20 to go. An Illinois Wesleyan goal with 3:21 left in the game concluded the scoring for both sides. UD attempted three shots in the waning minutes, including an Elisa Thode free position shot that was saved.

The Spartans started off hot after bolting out to a 7-3 lead with 4:42 remaining in the first half. Two goals each by Robyn Wittkopf and Judy Borah aided the cause up to that point. The Titans (9-8, 2-4 CCIW) had other plans and responded with six straight goals spanning the end of the first and the first 14 minutes of the second. 

UD outshot the Titans, 29-19, and bested them in every major statistical category besides saves.

Wittkopf finished with three goals while Borah scored twice with one ground ball. Tjaarda also tallied two goals, two assists, four ground balls, and a game-high seven draw controls. Goalkeeper Chelsea Hawkins earned two saves in her final game.

The Spartans conclude their season with a school-record nine wins, more than twice their previous record of four set last year. UD had already eclipsed that mark after starting off with a 5-2 record thanks to a victory over Cornell College on March 29th. The young squad returns every player from this year's squad except Borah and Hawkins.