Lions Conquer Valkyries, 11-9 in South Region Action

Second Half Comeback Lifts Saint Leo Over Converse

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – A strong second half helped the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team conquer Converse College by a final score of 11-9 on Saturday afternoon in Spartanburg, S.C.  The win advances the Lions to a mark of 9-7 on the season, while the Valkyries drop to a record of 7-10.

Three Lions scored two goal apiece as Bethanny Jolly, Allie Sheftall, and Christina Minneci led the way for Saint Leo.  Alix Murray, Kelly Smigiera, Danica Leili, Erica Zigon, and Kelsey Burns each scored once.  Jolly earned the lone assist of the day for Saint Leo, for a team high three points on the day.

The Valkyries were led by Sydney Hickey, who tallied a game high four goals.  A total of four players put goals on the board for Converse, while two added assists.

Converse was first on the board, with a goal by Amelia Helm just 52 seconds into the game, but Jolly answered back 27 seconds later to even the score at 1-1.  Burns scored a minute later thanks to an assist by Jolly to pull the Lions out to a 2-1 lead, but Hickey notched an unassisted tally five minutes later to knot the score at 2-2 with 22:39 on the clock.

The Valkyries battled back to take the lead once more, scoring with 18:11 on the clock to pull ahead 3-2, but Jolly evened the board at 3-3 with 16:44 before the half.  Both teams traded blows twice more, for a halftime score of 5-5.

The Valkyries came out of the break with a vengeance scoring three straight to pull ahead to an 8-5 lead, but the Lions fought back to rattle off six straight, taking an 11-8 lead with 5:03 left in the game.  Converse was able to notch one last goal with 2:10 to go, but the Lions' were able to hold their opponent off the board for the remainder of the game to secure the win.

Sophomore Sheftall earned the game-winner on a free position shot with 5:36 left in the game.  Sheftall led the game in draw controls with four, as the Lions won 16-of-22 draw controls.

Kaylyn Kearns saw a full 60 minutes between the pipes for the Lions, earning four saves while allowing nine goals.  Her counterpart for the Valkyries, Alex Gurecki, made nine saves while allowing 11 goals on the day.

The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team returns to action in their season finale on Tuesday, April 22, when they host Rollins College at University Turf Stadium.  Game time against the Tars is set for 7 p.m.  Fans who cannot make it to the game will be able to catch all of the action live on the Saint Leo Sports Network at SaintLeoLions.com.

For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.