CHICAGO – In its first big test of the 2019 season, the University of Chicago women's lacrosse team emerged with an 18-14 win against visiting Calvin College on Saturday afternoon.
The Maroons kept their perfect record intact at 3-0. The Knights dropped to 1-1.
Calvin came to the Stagg Field turf with three-straight appearances in the NCAA tournament, reaching the second round each time. Meanwhile, UChicago entered on a blazing hot streak, beating their opening two opponents by an average of 15 goals.
The matchup shifted to UChicago's side less than four minutes into the game when midfielder Karina Schulze deked around her defender and nailed her shot while strafing right. Two minutes later, attacker Lally Johnson threw a low grounder past the goalie to make it 2-0.
Calvin chopped the deficit with 23 minutes left in the half, but the run of play stayed on the Maroons' side with the next two goals. Midfielder Abbey Pouba deposited a left-handed shot in close with an assist from Schulze, who scored again herself with 19:46 remaining.
The margin moved to 6-2 UChicago midway through the first half. With a Calvin player in the penalty area thanks to a yellow card, midfielder Anne Sensenig took advantage with a goal. Just 10 seconds later, midfielder Audrey Kaus raced in off the draw control for a solo effort score.
But the Knights climbed right back into the contest with three unanswered tallies. Once the Maroons got the ball firmly back in their possession, a trio of scores resulted in a two-minute span. Kaus, Schulze and Johnson pushed the lead back up to 9-5. At halftime, the scoreboard read 9-7 in the home team's favor.
Both squads remained efficient in their offensive attacks with a combined 16 goals on 26 shots in the second half. Clears were converted at an 86 percent success rate to give the offenses momentum. However, free position shots were not particularly effective (2-for-7).
The contest proved quite physical as Maroons were whistled for a total of 30 fouls in an attempt to slow down main scoring options Emma Verrett and Megan Gilbert. The Calvin duo posted eight goals and two assists on the afternoon.
UChicago looked to pull away within three minutes of resumption on Pouba's free-position goal before she assisted on Schulze's strike. However, the Knights proved hardy on draw controls and patient on offense, tallying four-straight to tie the match up at 11-11.
With a potential deficit in play for the first time this season, the Maroons found their urgency with four straight goals of their own in a two-minute span. Midfielder Ali Sheehy, Kaus, Johnson and Schulze provided the goals.
Sensenig posted another tally following a Calvin yellow card before the visitors put up two more to draw within 16-14 with seven minutes left. Pouba provided a cushion in the 56th minute and Sensenig struck again to cap the scoring in the 58th minute.
Overall, shots were close at 30-25 for UChicago. Calvin committed more turnovers (30-21) while also earning more draw controls (19-15). Ground balls went to the Maroons 27-24.
Schulze led the scoring attack once again with five goals. Johnson, Kaus, Pouba and Sensenig tallied three goals apiece. Junior goalie Honor Crandell made four saves.
- Tuesday, Mar. 5 @ 7:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at St. Mary's (Ind.)