CHICAGO – The University of Chicago women's lacrosse team emerged from a tightly-contested opening 30 minutes with a dominant second-half showing to outlast conference foe Augustana College 20-10 on a blustery Wednesday night at Stagg Field.
Although the Maroons (11-1, 3-0 CCIW) never trailed, the Vikings (4-8, 0-3 CCIW) gave the hosts little room to breathe early on, challenging successfully for control of the draw and converting offensive opportunities. The sides swapped goals back-and-forth until UChicago led 7-6 with 3:11 remaining in the first. A late Maroon rush in the final minutes before the break then offered a hint of what was to come as UChicago outscored Augustana 10-3 in the second half on the way to a double-digit victory.
First-year midfielder Karina Schulze powered the Maroon offense with eight goals on 13 shots. She also won five draw controls, picked up four ground balls and caused two turnovers. First-year forward Lally Johnson and Ali Sheehy each notched hat tricks, with Johnson contributing two assists and Sheehy setting up one goal. First-year midfielder Audrey Kaus was in action all over the field, winning a team-high five ground balls to go with two goals, two assists and three draw controls.
The Vikings consistently battled the Maroons at the draw, where the hosts ultimately claimed a 17-14 advantage. Augustana turned the ball over 22 times, with first-year defender Kathleen Harrigan causing three. UChicago only conceded 12 turnovers and came out on top 24-13 in the scramble for ground balls. The Maroons outshot their opponents 39-17 (30-15 on goal) but saw seven efforts saved in the first half.
Augustana claimed the opening draw but it would be UChicago that struck first after a turnover, with Kaus finding junior midfielder Maya De Jonge as she twisted through the middle. The Vikings snatched the draw again, however, and this time scored immediately to level the contest.
After junior goalie Honor Crandell stopped another Augustana shot, Johnson got open in transition and slipped the ball over to Schulze, who drew a foul and converted a free-position shot to put the Maroons back in front. The Vikings kept UChicago working hard on the next possession, with the shot clock winding nearly all the way down before Johnson found Sheehy slicing through to score.
Augustana again answered in a hurry and bagged the next goal four minutes later to even things at 3-3. When the visitors won the ensuing draw it looked like UChicago might be in danger of falling behind, but after a turnover, Schulze got loose on a breakaway that led to a free-position goal.
The Maroons created a bit of space as Schulze rocketed another free-position shot into net and Johnson cut in to slot a solo effort that made it 6-3 with just under 12 minutes to play in the first half. Augustana went on a 3-1 run in that time, however, and UChicago called timeout with the margin at only one goal as the game approached its midway point.
The hosts were under pressure again out of the timeout, but first-year midfielder Anne Sensenig forced the Vikings to cough the ball up and the Maroons soon capitalized with Kaus scoring from a free position with 1:38 left in the half. With the clock ticking under a minute, Schulze squirreled in close to score, then set up Sensenig in front of net with 14 seconds remaining. Augustana snuck a last-second goal of its own but UChicago now led 10-7 at the break.
Augustana enjoyed the first attack of the half, but Harrigan brought it to a halt and the Maroons took advantage as Schulze shook her defender with a sharp hesitation move.
UChicago's defense stepped up again on the next Viking foray, as a well-coordinated team effort forced a shot chock violation without a sliver of a scoring chance. Johnson took a feed from Kaus with her back to goal, then turned and fired to make it 12-7.
Augustana scored quickly and began another offensive but Schulze broke up a pass over the middle, scooped up the loose ball, and sprinted down the field to score. This was the first of four-consecutive Maroon goals as the game turned decisively, the last a typical display from Schulze as she snatched the draw after her team had just scored and charged down the middle of the field to immediately pile on another, leaving the score at 16-8.
After the teams traded goals again, Johnson wrapped around from the left side to supply Sheehy with her hat-trick goal. Less than a minute later, she claimed her own with another wraparound, this time a shot that skated low into the bottom corner. One last exchange brought up the final tally as UChicago reached the 20-goal mark for the third time this season.
- Wednesday, April 17 @ 7:00 PM – UChicago at Illinois Wesleyan University