Women's Lacrosse stays focused and downs Merrimack

Women's Lacrosse stays focused and downs Merrimack

SAINT LEO, Fla. -- Saint Leo women's lacrosse game day started off like any other March day in Florida, sunny and 80 degrees. What wasn't expected was a fast moving storm that would derail the Lions home game against Merrimack College. The system delayed the start of the game by roughly 20 minutes, but the story doesn't end there. 

The Warriors were the first to score, but the Green and Gold answered with a 4-0 run headed by Katherine Larson. The freshman scored back-to-back goals, inclduing a free position goal, for Saint Leo. The Warriors would cut the lead to two points but the day's second lightning delay paused the action with 16:37 remaining in the first half. 

The break appeared needed for Merrimack, and the Warriors returned to University Turf Stadium on a tear, and tied the game at 4-4 thanks to goals by Hunter McCarthy and Aubrie Stouffer. Kelsey Burns halted the Warrior assault with back-to-back goals in the final minutes of the first half and gave Saint Leo a 6-4 advantage at the break. 

The scoring continued to seesaw back and forth, and Saint Leo never trailed in the second half. The Lions opened up the contest on another 5-1 run thanks to goals by five different Lions. Mid-run, the stadium went dark following another Stoufer goal for the Warriors with 18 minutes to play in the game. 

Despite the major disruption, the Lions remained focused and on track. Merrimack made a late run in the final minutes of the game and came within two points of a comeback, but Saint Leo held on for the victory. 

Burns led the Lions with four goals and caused one turnover. Larson finished with two goals, while Abbie Ross, Alix Murray, Kelly Smigiera, Emily Pittenger and Christinia Minneci each added one goal. Allie Sheftall dished out two assists. 

Saint Leo returns to University Turf Stadium Friday when the Lions take on Belmont Abbey in nonconference action at 7:00 pm. 

For more information on the Saint Leo women's lacrosse program, 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.