CHICAGO – An unseasonable mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain hardly slowed the University of Chicago women's lacrosse team as the Maroons capped off the regular season with a 20-5 victory over Carthage College in a conference matchup on Saturday at Stagg Field.
The Maroons (14-2 overall, 6-1 CCIW) had already secured the No. 2 seed and a home semifinal in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Tournament heading into the day. UChicago kept the momentum going against the visiting Lady Reds (6-9, 3-4 CCIW), who scored the first goal of the day but watched their outside shot at a playoff spot dwindle away as the Maroons outscored them 10-1 in the second half.
UChicago will host third-place North Central College (14-3, 5-2 CCIW) at 7:00 PM on Wednesday night with a spot in the CCIW championship on the line. The Maroons bested the Cardinals 19-9 on the road when they met earlier this year.
Before the game, UChicago celebrated senior attacker Kate Monson. Monson has played in 10 of the Maroons' victories this season, notching an assist against Linfield College and scoring her first career goal at home against University of Dubuque last weekend.
First-year defender Adriana Shutler menaced the opposition all day, causing six turnovers and collecting eight ground balls, both team highs. The ball came loose often in the slippery conditions, but as a team UChicago maintained clear advantages in turnovers (25-33) and ground balls (32-21). The draw was relatively even, with the Maroons claiming a 14-13 edge.
A balanced Maroon attack saw six players score multiple times as the hosts outshot the Lady Reds 31-15. First-year attacker Lally Johnson led the way with five goals. Her classmates in the midfield Anne Sensenig and Ali Sheehy bagged four apiece. First-year attacker Sarah Bloomquist scored a pair and dished out a team-high four assists, while Johnson supplied three.
First-year midfielder Karina Schulze spread her contributions across the stat sheet with three goals, an assist, six ground balls, three caused turnovers and a game-high eight draw controls.
After snatching the opening draw, Carthage broke free to score just 14 seconds into the game. The Maroon response came several minutes later, as Bloomquist set up Sheehy from behind the goal and she slung it into the net.
Johnson got on the board a minute afterwards, powering in from the left side to kick off a four-goal outburst as she worked in close, only interrupted when Carthage converted a free position.
UChicago made it 6-2 just before the 15-minute mark on a sequence that began when Schulze jarred the ball free deep in her own end. Fighting for it on the turf, she rolled the ball from left to right to cross up her opponent, scooped it up, and rushed upfield. Hustling in transition, Johnson got open down the left side and found Bloomquist to finish off the play.
Back-to-back tallies from Sensenig put the Maroons further ahead before the Lady Reds answered with a quick pair of their own. UChicago made the most of a Carthage yellow card, however, as Bloomquist sent a high pass into the middle that Schulze caught and delivered in one motion.
Marked tightly as she drifted left, Sheehy ripped a shot into the top shelf just before halftime, leaving the score at 10-4 in favor of the hosts.
A sprinting Schulze opened the second half with a 13-second score and Johnson put in a low wraparound shot two minutes later. UChicago still held a 12-5 advantage after Carthage answered promptly and the visitors would not score again in the 27 minutes remaining.
Pressing high in her opponents' end, Bloomquist intercepted a pass and slung the ball over to first-year attacker Abbey Pouba. Her shot careened hard off the crossbar into the path of an incoming Schulze, who buried the rebound low and left.
After Sensenig scored from a free position, Bloomquist cut sharply across goal and slotted it in to give her team a double-digit margin. First-year attacker Isabella Moran sliced through the defense for the next two Maroon tallies. Two more from Sheehy, split by another from Sensenig, got UChicago to the 20-goal mark for the fourth time in seven conference games.
- Wednesday, May 1 @ 7:00 PM - North Central College at UChicago (CCIW Tournament Semifinals)