Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/2/16
From Press Release
Kristen Wilhelmsen (Strath Haven) registered a team-high four goals, including the 100th of her Lafayette career late in the first half, and the Leopards used a strong team defensive effort to claim a 13-8 victory over Iona on Tuesday night at Fisher Stadium.
The Gaels (2-2) were limited to six goals until they notched a pair of markers in the final two minutes to help narrow the final margin. Maggie Carver, Amanda Case (Haverford High) and Charlotte Rath (Archmere Academy) each added a pair of goals to support the offensive attack for Lafayette (3-2).
“I think we did a lot of nice things in transition,” head coach Alison Fisher said. “That allowed us to push the pace offensively and to cause some turnovers defensively, which I think really got Iona rattled. We made some big stops on defense, which gave us some extra possessions, and that allowed our attack to get into a rhythm.”
For the game, the Leopards had a commanding advantage in draw controls (16-7), which played a key role in their overall 33-17 edge in shots. The Maroon and White pressure also limited Iona to a 57.1 percent success rate on clears (12-21).
It was the Gaels, though, who led 3-1 with under 10 minutes to play in the opening half. A man-up goal from Wilhelmsen, her second of the night, with 9:35 remaining reduced the margin to one, and strikes by Carver and Ashley Tedesco (Friends’ Central) gave Lafayette its first lead with 5:37 on the clock.
Wilhelmsen’s milestone marker came less than two minutes later off a free position shot, and she added a fourth marker midway through the second half to maintain her scoring lead among Patriot League performers in the early stages of the 2016 season.
“We were obviously glad to see Kirsten hit that milestone,” Fisher said. “She’s dynamic offensively, she’s hard to stop. I knew that Iona was going to throw a lot of different things at her, but she handled them all. She’s definitely matured as an upperclassman.”
The Gaels scored in the final 20 seconds of the first half to thin the Leopard lead to 5-4, but Lafayette responded with the first three goals of the final 30 minutes. Kristin Schaen started the run just over two minutes in, Carver added her second goal at the 17:43 mark, and Charlotte Avallone assisted Wilhelmsen on her final strike of the contest.
That made the score 8-4, and Iona would not get closer than four goals the rest of the way.
In addition to her two goals, Case chipped in a team-high six draw controls and a pair of caused turnovers. Avallone, Carver and Dana Smith also registered two forced miscues for the Gaels.
Tonight’s win avenged a 13-12 loss at Iona to conclude the 2015 season. The Leopards will now search for their first winning streak of this campaign when they hit the road this weekend for a 2 p.m. matchup at George Mason on Saturday.