April 4, 2009

Culp Ties Career High; Hokies Handle AU

from press release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tech's trio of Rachel Culp, Allie Emala and Jessica Nonn combined to score 14 goals as the Virginia Tech women's lacrosse team held off American University for the 19-11 win in a non-conference match played at Jacobs Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Hokies have now won two-straight games and hold a 6-7 overall record (1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). American falls to 2-10 on the year (1-4 Patriot League) with the loss.

Morgan Widlake (Fr., Catonsville, Md.) opened the scoring for Virginia Tech and the Hokies continued to build a 6-1 lead, propelled by three goals from Emala (So., Baltimore, Md.), halfway through the opening period. But the Eagles pecked away at the lead and trailed only 8-6 after 22:30 minutes of play.

However, AU did not have an answer for Culp (Sr., Kent, Ohio), who netted three goals in the final seven minutes of the first half to give the Hokies a commanding 12-7 advantage at the break. Tech's 12 scores marked a season high for team goals in a half, topping the squad's previous mark of 11 goals scored in the first half against Davidson earlier this year.

The Hokies' carried over the momentum from the end of the first half, as Jessica Nonn (Fr., Catonsville, Md.), assisted by Caitlyn Wier (So., Cockeysville, Md.), found the back of the net less than two minutes into the second frame, pushing Tech's lead to 13-7. Culp would add two more goals before American responded late in the second half to pull the score to 15-8, but the Hokies had the game in hand and outscored the Eagles 4-3 over the final 13 minutes of play en route to the 19-11 final decision.

The American defense had trouble stopping the Hokies' tandem of Culp, Emala and Nonn throughout the contest. Nonn recorded three scores, all in the second half, while Emala tallied four goals for the match. Culp led all scorers with seven goals on the day, tying her career high set earlier this season at Davidson. The senior midfielder has registered 42 goals on the year, becoming the first Hokie to top 40 goals in a single season since Lindsey Welch accomplished the feat in 2004.

Tech's attack was rounded out by Widlake with two goals, Julie Wolfinger (Fr., Finksburg, Md.) with a goal and an assist and Dylan Garner with a goal (So., Cornelius, N.C.), her fourth in as many games.

The Hokies' Kari Morrison (Sr., Springfield, Va.) made six saves in goal, while American's combination of keepers Kaska Komosinski and Frankie Solomon totaled nine saves. For the match, Tech outshot the Eagles 40-28.

Virginia Tech will have a quick turnaround, playing again on Tuesday, Apr. 8, as the Hokies welcome the Longwood Lancers to Blacksburg for a 4 p.m. tilt.

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