California-Maryland Battle in WCLA D-II Final
by Brian Logue | LaxMagazine.com
Delaine Debeer had two goals and an assist to help Chapman reach the US Lacrosse WCLA Division II championship game.
© Cecil Copeland
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – For the second straight year, it will be a California-Maryland showdown in the final game of the US Lacrosse Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) Division II National Championship, presented by Harrow Sports.
No. 2 Chapman knocked off No. 6 Utah 10-8 and No. 4 Towson Club upset No. 1 Westminster 20-9 to advance to the finals.
Cal-Berkeley Club defeated Loyola (Md.) Club in the inaugural WCLA Division II title game last year.
Westminster came into its semifinal game with an unbeaten record
against Division II foes, but Towson Club asserted its authority
early. The Tigers scored six goals in the first nine minute of the
game and Westminster never got closer than five goals after
Beth Ann Jancuska led the Towson offense with six goals and an assist and Hannah Gutcher added three goals and five assists. Chelsea Farrell paced the Westminster offense with five goals and an assist.
In the other semifinal, Chapman’s Julia Hunsaker had her second straight big day to lead the Panthers. A day after an eight-point effort against Oakland, Hunsaker scored five goals to lead Chapman past Utah. Hunsaker had back-to-back goals in the second half as Chapman moved out to a 9-4 lead, but Utah battled back.
Cody Renner’s goal with 8:55 to play pulled Utah within 9-7, but Hunsaker responded with a strong drive the cage and scored her fifth goal with under four minutes to play to put it out of reach. Delaine Debeer and Michelle Mendoza each added two goals for Chapman, and goalie Anjali Thota made 12 saves. Laura Hunter had five goals and an assist to lead Utah.
In Friday morning’s consolation games, SMU withstood a late rally from Oakland to post a 13-12 win and Minnesota-Duluth edged Wisconsin-River Falls 9-7 in overtime.
SMU led Oakland 10-4 at the half and still led by six with 25 minutes to go before Oakland ripped off five goals in a span of just 2:12 to cut the margin to 12-11 with nearly 15 minutes to play. Both defenses tightened up at that point.
SMU’s Lacey Rybarcyzk scored with 9:11 remaining, but Oakland again closed to within one on a goal by Vikki Wallace with 1:59 to play. Wallace had one final chance to send it into overtime for Oakland, but as she tried to wrap around from behind the cage, her shot hit the side of the net and SMU escaped with the win.
Mary Liz Tuttle led SMU with three goals and Jodi Morris had two goals and an assist. Wallace led Oakland with three goals and an assist and Desiree Messina also had three goals.
Trailing 6-3, UW-River Falls scored four straight goals to take a 7-6 lead over Minnesota-Duluth on Rachel Stahura’s inside goal with 3:45 remaining in regulation. The Bulldogs responded as Payton Gallogly scored with 2:13 to tie the game 7-7 and send it to overtime.
After a scoreless first overtime period, Rachel Baltes and Kate Strassman scored goals in the second overtime period to give Minnesota-Duluth a 9-7 victory. Strassman led UMD with three goals and Ashly Berner had four goals for Wisconsin-River Falls.
Saturday Division II Schedule
Championship game: No. 2 Chapman vs. No. 4 Towson Club, 11
3rd place game: No. 1 Westminster vs. No. 6 Utah, 10 am
5th place game: No. 3 SMU vs. No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth, 10 am
7th place game: No. 7 Oakland vs. No. 8 Wisconsin-River Falls, 8 am
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