CHICAGO – A stingy defensive effort allowed the University of Chicago women's lacrosse team to shut down the potent University of Wisconsin-River Falls attack on Saturday afternoon, en route to a 15-2 victory.
The Maroons improved to 3-0 on the year while dealing the Falcons (2-1) their first loss.
UWRF came into the day averaging 21.5 goals in its opening games of the season. However, UChicago made it immediately apparent that scoring would not be on the menu. Defenders kept attackers in front of them all day, squelching any penetration into the crease area. The midfielders also were aggressive on clear attempts and shut down transition opportunities before they could even occur. UWRF went 18 of 30 on clears, while the Maroons were 17 of 21.
It took 14-and-a-half minutes for the Falcons to get onto the scoreboard. Their second goal would have to wait another 34 minutes, as UWRF scored on a breakaway play in the final minute of the game.
Draw controls were critical for the pace of play. UChicago dominated the category 18-1 for the game.
Turnovers were frequent in the first half as the two teams combined for 30 against the stout defenses. The scoreless deadlock was broken in the ninth minute when a foul gave UChicago first-year Anneke Pulkkinen a free-position attempt, which she buried.
UChicago scored five more times in the final 15 minutes of the half. Sophomore Sarah Bloomquist was a frequent provider of offense as she slung precision passes in front to on-running attackers who were able to convert in close. Bloomquist assisted on four goals in the half and five for the game.
At halftime, the score stood at 6-1 with six different Maroons contributing goals. Sophomore Ali Sheehy got the ball rolling early in the second half with a pair of opportunistic scores in the first five minutes.
With UWRF tiring, the Maroons stepped on the gas. Two additional goals by sophomore Lally Johnson made the score 11-1 midway through the period, enacting the running clock for the remainder of the game.
Sheehy tallied three goals while Johnson, sophomore Audrey Kaus, Pulkkinen, first-year Zoe Torok and first-year Katie Large all tallied two goals each. Large was responsible for five draw controls, with Kaus and sophomore Anne Sensenig added four apiece. Sophomore Adriana Shutler led the team with six ground ball and two caused turnovers.
UChicago outshot UWRF 36-12 in the final stats. The visitors committed more turnovers (27-22) and the home team scooped up more ground balls (24-20).
- Saturday, Mar. 14 @ 3:30 PM (ET) – UChicago at Calvin University