SAINT LEO, Fla. – Despite a strong defensive fight by the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team that saw a new program high in caused turnovers in game, the Lions were unable to come out on top as they fell to Converse College 11-8 on Monday evening at University Field.
Saint Leo drops to 4-7 on the season, while the Valkyries pull even with an overall mark of 5-5.
Three Lions netted three points on the night, as Alix Murray and Stephanie Marran scored a hat trick apiece, and Joanna Chadwick tallied two goals and an assist. Marran finished just one point shy of her 100th career point, and will look to reach her milestone mark in the Lions' next game.
Defensively, Saint Leo posted a program best in caused turnovers in a contest, earning 16 on the evening with help from Brittany Millsap, Cathryn Winslow, and Christina Minneci with three each. The Lions won the ground ball battle, 27-19, led by Alyssa Viscomi with six, and Chadwick who collected five.
Millsap closed out the evening with 14 saves, including 10 in the second half. Her counterpart, Alexandra Curecki, made 16 saves to collect the win.
The Green and Gold exploded into the game with a goal from Marran five minutes into the contest, but the Valkyries knotted the score at 1-1 a shade over ten minutes into the contest, and scored two more to pull ahead to a 3-1 advantage with 17:33 on the clock.
Marran broke the streak with an unassisted goal five minutes later to pull Saint Leo to within one, 3-2, but Converse rattled off four straight goals to extend their advantage to 7-2 with 3:31 to go before the half. Two quick goals from Chadwick within 32 seconds of each other pulled the Lions back into contention, and left them down by only three goals at the half, 7-4.
Converse used the break to their advantage, and scored two quick goals to open the second stanza, stretching their lead to 9-4 just two and a half minutes into the period. Murray grabbed a feed from Chadwick for the Lions' fifth goal of the evening, but Converse answered back to put the score at 10-5 with 23:50 remaining in the game.
Murray and Marran pulled Saint Leo back to within three, 10-7, with 19:08 on the clock, but the Valkyries fought back and tallied a goal of their own. Murray scored off of a free position shot with 12:36 to go, setting the scoreboard at 11-8, however the Lions were unable to capitalize on any more of their attacking efforts throughout the remaining 12 minutes of play.
Saint Leo led the game off the draw, winning 12-of-21. The Lions also led the shot count 33-27, but shot placement got the best of them as only 24 of their shots were on target compared to 25 shots on frame from the Valkyries. Despite causing 16 turnovers on the night, the Green and Gold saw the other end of the spectrum, as well, turning the ball over 22 times with help from eight caused turnovers by Converse.
The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team returns to action on Friday, April 13, when they take on Newberry College. Game time against the Wolves is set for 7 p.m. at University Field. Fans will be able to catch all of the action live at SaintLeoLions.com.