WEST CALDWELL, N.J. - - A six-goal halftime deficit was too large to overcome for the fifth seeded Wilmington University women's lacrosse team in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference First Round game on Tuesday, falling to host and fourth seeded Caldwell, 18-12, at Essex Valley Field.
With the loss, the Wildcats season comes to an end with an overall record of 7-10. The win propels the Cougars (6-8) to the CACC Tournament Semifinals on Saturday hosted by Georgian Court.
The home team scored back-to-back goals 32 second apart to take a 4-2 lead before back-to-back goals once again just 32 seconds part to grab a 6-2 lead. The 5-0 run ended with the Cougars on top, 7-2, with 14:19 left in the first half.
Lashay Ross brought the Wildcats to within 10-6 with 4:5 left in the first half, but Caldwell scored the final two goals of the stanza, carrying a 12-6 lead into the halftime break.
Down seven, the Wildcats rattled off three straight in part of a 5-1 run to get back into the game. Ross, Boykin, and Sam Foster scored three straight to get to within 13-9, before Ross scored back-to-back goals to climb all the way back to within 14-11 with 18:22 showing on the clock.
But that's as close as they could get, as Caldwell stemmed the tide and answered with four straight goals of its own to regain control. Arden Kassaleh scored all four goals for the Cougars, giving the home team an 18-11 lead with just 3:39 left to play.
The Wildcats outshot the Cougars, 18-15, in the second half, but turned the ball over 23 times to the Cougars' 14 for the game.
Lashay Ross led the Wildcats with five goals and one assist, adding five draw controls. Her 157 draw controls on the season nearly doubled the previous Wildcats record holder of 88 in 2015. She also became the program's all-time leader in draws on Tuesday, surpassing Danielle Niccoli's mark of 226 from 2008-11. Ross finishes her sophomore season with 230 career draws.
La'Dae Boykin scored three goals and added two assists for five points, adding nine draws. She set numerous program marks this season, including points in a game (12), goals in a game (10), points in a season (107), goals in a season (79), goals in a career (179), and points in a career (257).