NEWARK, Del. - - In a game of three-goal surges, Shippensburg had the last say in the 2017 season opener, defeating the Wilmington University women's lacrosse team, 13-9, at the WU Athletics Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (0-1) answered every Raider (1-0) run with a goal streak of their own, but the Raiders were able to produce the last laugh, separating themselves from the Wildcats down the stretch.
The game started with the Raiders jumping out to a 3-0 lead before the Wildcats were able to find their offensive groove. Megan Card produced the first goal of the 2017 season for the Wildcats followed by back-to-back goals from Gabby Spalt to tie the game with 10:39 left in the half.
But back came the Raiders, scoring the next three goals of the contest to take a 6-3 lead with 4:25 on the clock before the break. Alexis Olsen buried her free position shot to end the streak before Card added another with 10 seconds left to put the Wildcats only down one at the half.
Out of the break, Spalt quickly tied the game with her third goal of the day but the Raiders once again had an answer for the Wildcats. Allison Fugate assisted on the first and scored the next two goals for the Raiders to once again grab a 9-6 advantage with 22:03 to play.
Lashay Ross scored her first collegiate career goal to break up the Raiders' momentum, but Shippensburg responded with another free position goal to again take a 10-7 lead. Ross converted another shot before Auryonah Nash scored her first collegiate career goal with 5:54 to play to close the gap to 10-9.
Still trailing by one, Zameria Jones came up with the turnover the Wildcats needed, stripping the Raiders offensive player and scooping up the ground ball. Followed a good clear attempt, however, the Wildcats turned the ball over themselves with 2:54 remaining and the Raiders took advantage.
Shippensburg scored out of a timeout to move ahead 11-9 and the Wildcats couldn't recover another draw control. The Raiders tacked on two more down the stretch to secure the victory, 13-9.
Spalt led the Wildcats with a hat trick while Card and Ross added two goals each. Card added an assist for three points on the day. Ross also led the team with six draw controls while Nash, Card, and Christina Ziegler added two draws each. Maddie Hurm made eight saves in goal for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats take off for Florida to compete in their next two contests, first with a game against Keiser on Monday afternoon. The opening draw is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.