CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Top-seeded Queens University of Charlotte advanced to the South Atlantic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Tournament finals with a 21-6 victory over Tusculum College in a semifinal match Friday afternoon at the Queens Sports Complex.
Brittany Larranaga scored a game-high four goals for the 15th-ranked Royals (16-2), who will play the winner of Friday’s other semifinal between Catawba and Lenoir-Rhyne. Alexandra Bruder added three goals for the Royals, while five other players had two goals apiece in the win.
Kelsey Crow became the first player in program history to score 100 career goals for the fourth-seeded Pioneers (11-6), while Erin Sims and Savannah Elliott had two goals apiece. Tusculum was able to muster just 14 shots against the Queens defense, which shut out the Pioneers for the final 21 1/2 minutes.
After a scoreless five minutes, the Royals broke through with five goals in a span of less than three minutes. Larranaga and Kelly Dowd scored twice apiece during the run, which was snapped on a goal by Alycea Ohl with 21:21 left in the first half.
Following three more goals from the Royals which gave them an 8-1 lead with 9:40 to play in the half, Sims scored her first of the game to cut the margin to 8-2 with 7:20 remaining. Queens added three more goals to go on top 11-2, but Crow netted her 100th as a Pioneer to trim the deficit to 11-3 with 3:01 left in the half. Elliott added the final goal of the half for the Pioneers, who trailed the Royals 13-4 at intermission.
Larranaga posted four goals for the Royals in the opening half, while the team scored its 13 goals on 16 shots. The Royals had a 12-7 edge in ground balls over the Pioneers in the half, while holding a slim 10-8 advantage in draw controls.
Goals from Sims and Elliott about a minute and a half apart in the second half brought the Pioneers within 15-6, but Queens scored the final six goals to close out the victory over the Pioneers.
Queens finished the game with a 21-15 advantage in ground balls over the Pioneers. Christen Craig and Calyn Kelly led the Pioneers with four ground balls and two caused turnovers apiece, while Madison Malone had two ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. Maggie Masters and Sydney Dishman led the Royals with three ground balls apiece, while the Queens defense caused 12 of Tusculum’s 19 turnovers.
The Royals had a 15-12 edge in draw controls over the Pioneers, with Cheyenne Bray leading all players with five draw controls for Tusculum. Gabby Farina, Cammy Case and Dowd shared the team high in draw controls for the Royals with three each.
Brooke Wagner started in goal for the Pioneers and played 30 1/2 minutes, finishing with three saves, while Kaele Lawless played 29 1/2 minutes and had two saves. Christine Wiese had six saves in goal for the Royals.
Tusculum set or tied several program single-season records this season, as Malone tied the mark for points with 66 and established school and conference single-season records with 46 assists. Malone also set Pioneer single-season records with 64 draw controls and 33 caused turnovers.
Crow finished her two-year Tusculum career as the program’s leader in goals (100) and points (120), third in ground balls (71) and third in caused turnovers (36). Cheyenne Bray departs as the program career record-holder with 104 draw controls, ranked second in goals (75) and assists (32) and third in points with 107.