St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s women’s lacrosse team concluded their 2023 campaign on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship Tournament. Unfortunately, the Seahawks (11-8) faced a tough challenge and suffered a 13-2 defeat against the formidable No. 11-ranked Messiah College (16-3). The match proved to be an uphill battle for St. Mary’s, as Messiah controlled the tempo and dominated the draw controls.

From the outset, Messiah established their dominance by jumping to an 8-0 lead in the opening half, winning seven of nine draws in the first quarter. The Falcons extended their advantage to 10-0 in the second period, triggering a running clock. However, St. Mary’s managed to break the shutout as junior attacker Bella Dunigan scored the Seahawks’ first goal of the game, assisted by sophomore midfielder Colin Horton. This halted the running clock, providing a brief glimmer of hope for the Seahawks. Nevertheless, Messiah finished the first half with a commanding 11-1 lead, with Rachel Delate scoring the final goal just before halftime.

The second half saw limited offensive action, with only three goals finding the back of the net. The Falcons secured the sole goal in the third quarter, while both teams added a goal each in the final period. St. Mary’s senior attacker Erin Carmody managed to find the back of the net, contributing to her team’s effort. Although the Seahawks improved their offensive output, outshooting Messiah 15-8 in the second half, they were unable to overcome their opponent’s defense. Goalkeeper Grace Hejeebu, who replaced Messiah’s starting goalkeeper, made five crucial saves to keep St. Mary’s at bay.

Analyzing the statistics, Messiah held a slight edge over St. Mary’s in shots, with a final tally of 28-20. Both teams recorded 15 turnovers and 16 ground balls, showcasing their equal performances in these categories. St. Mary’s struggled with their free position shots, failing to convert on all four attempts, while the Falcons managed to score on 50% of their free position shots, going 1-for-2.

Despite the loss, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland women’s lacrosse team can reflect on a successful season. This marked their fourth consecutive winning record and their second straight United East Conference regular-season title. They also clinched their second consecutive United East championship crown, showcasing their dominance within their conference. Additionally, the Seahawks secured an NCAA Tournament appearance for the second season in a row, highlighting their consistency and competitive spirit.

Several individuals stood out in the game for St. Mary’s. Five different Seahawks players scooped up two ground balls each, while defenders Rachael Freeman and Kayla Kopf caused two turnovers apiece. Junior goalie Maddie Clemmer made nine saves and collected two loose balls in her efforts to keep her team in the game.

For Messiah College, Makenzie Schnur delivered an outstanding performance, leading the Falcons to victory with eight points, comprising four goals and four assists. Rachel Delate played a pivotal role in Messiah’s dominance, securing six draws and contributing two goals.

With their season now complete, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland women’s lacrosse team can take pride in their achievements and look forward to building on their success in future campaigns. Although they faced disappointment in the NCAA Tournament opener, their impressive season has set a strong foundation for continued growth and excellence in the coming years.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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