SPARTANBURG, S.C. - - Trailing by five goals at the halftime break, the Wilmington University women's lacrosse team stormed back to claim its first victory of the season, 13-12, at Converse in nonconference action on Tuesday afternoon at Fulp Field.
The Wildcats (1-4) scored the first three goals of the second half en route to a 7-1 run out of the break. Converse (2-7) took the lead back with back-to-back goals, 12-11, but the Wildcats answered with the final two goals of the game just 34 seconds apart to take the victory.
The win is the first collegiate coaching victory for first year head coach Kevin Day.
With the game knotted at 1-1 in the early going, Converse ran off four straight goals to take a 5-1 lead with 16:32 left in the first half. Lashay Ross and Marisa Parker scored back-to-back goals for the Wildcats to cut the deficit to 5-3, but the Valkyries ended the opening 20 minutes by scores four of the final five goals to lead 9-4 at the break.
La'Dae Boykin started the scoring in the second half with a goal from Sam Foster, starting a three-goal streak for the Wildcats. Taylor Lambeth scored off a feed from Boykin before Boykin brought the Wildcats to within 9-7 with 19:41 with another goal.
Converse ended the run with a goal for the three-goal lead, but the Wildcats answered with a 4-0 spurt to take their first lead of the game. Boykin and Parker brought the Wildcats to within one before Ross scored back-to-back goals for the 11-10 lead with 14:14 to play in regulation.
The Valkyries responded once again with back-to-back tallies, regaining the leaf with 3:24 left in the game. But the Wildcats weren't done, as Lambeth converted a free position shot to knot the game at 12 with 2:46 showing on the clock.
Christina Ziegler scooped up the ensuing draw control and Ross scored her fourth of the day to give the Wildcats the lead just 34 seconds later, 13-12.
Converse had a free position attempt opportunity with just over a minute to play, but goalkeeper Maddie Hurm came up with the biggest of her 11 saves of the day to keep the Wildcats in front. The ensuing clear attempt was good for the Wildcats and they were able to take a big chunk of the remaining time off the clock. The Valkyries got the ball back, but with only 11 seconds on the clock, unable to get down the field.
Boykin led the Wildcats with four goals and an assist while Ross added four goals as well. Parker picked up her first hat trick of the year with three goals while adding an assist.
The Valkyries gained more draws, 14-13, but Ross dominated the draw for the Wildcats, picking up 10 of the team's 13. The 10 draws are the third most in Wilmington's program history and only trail Rebekah McCurry's 13 in 2015 and Danielle Niccoli's 11 in 2008.
The Wildcats will look to carry the momentum of the second half into their next game, as they head to Queens (NY) for another nonconference game on Saturday. The opening draw is set for 1:00 p.m.