COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Southwestern University Pirates women's lacrosse team advanced to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championship game, defeating the University of Dallas Crusaders 20-9.
Both teams started roughly even through the first six-and-a-half minutes, with Dallas' Emily Pauletti tying the game at 3-3 on a free position shot with 23:38 remaining in the first half.
Southwestern responded by reeling off 13 consecutive goals to take a 16-3 lead into the halftime with senior Hayley Donnelly, the Pirates' all-time leader in points scored, taking over. Donnelly found Natasha Perez-Krause for the assist at the 19:46 mark, then scored an unassisted goal a little more than a minute later.
Despite losing draw controls 12-7 in the first half, the Pirates dominated possession, forcing 15 turnovers while committing only six before the break. Dallas struggled to get the ball in position to score, clearing only two of its nine opportunities, giving way to a 30-10 shot advantage for Southwestern, who picked up 18 of the 26 ground balls.
Donnelly scored two goals and dished out five assists in the first half.
The Pirates pulled back in the second half after scoring four of the first five goals with Johnee Wolter scoring three, taking only nine shots in total after the break as the Crusaders scored the final five goals of the game.
Donnelly finished with a game-high eight points on two goals and six assists. Wolter scored a game-high five goals on nine shots. Erika Keever and Emily Pauletti led the Crusaders with three goals each.
With the win, the Pirates advance to the SCAC championship game tomorrow at noon against the Colorado College Tigers, who defeated Johnson & Wales University 22-1. The two teams did not play each other during the regular season.