GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The No. 3-ranked Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University women's lacrosse team defeated No-6 Tennessee Wesleyan 17-6 on Thursday afternoon at Sirrine Stadium in Greenville, S.C. The win sends the Blue Devils back to the NAIA semifinals as they get set to play again on Friday, May 5 at 4 p.m.
Lawrence Tech (17-1) opened up an 4-0 lead as Isabelle Vickers (JR/Rockford, MI) scored the first three goals with Ashley Collins (JR/Hartland, MI) adding the fourth, all unassisted. Tennessee Wesleyan scored scored their first goal at the 23:48 mark to make it 4-1, but LTU answered with the next four goals to take an 8-1 lead.
Collins added her second of the game at the 21:38 mark of the first half to take a 5-1 lead. Kalo notched the next two goals with assists from Vickers and Anna Gagnon (FR/Grand Haven, Mich.) to push the LTU lead to 7-1. Gagnon scored her 51st goal of the season to give the Blue Devils an 8-1 lead.
Tennessee Wesleyan (13-5) scored three straight goals to cut the lead to 8-4, but Kalo added her third of the game to take a 9-4 at halftime. Paige Holcomb (SR/Portage, MI) had the assist.
"The team started off strong," LTU Head Coach Mary Ann Meltzer said. "But we gave up a couple things later in the first half against a good Tennessee Wesleyan team. We regrouped and were able to finish strong."
Lawrence Tech came out in the second half and outscored the Bulldogs 8-2 to secure their second trip to the NAIA Invitational Semifinals. Kalo opened the second half with with triio of goals as she gave LTU a 12-5 lead with 16:43 left in the game.
Gagnon added her second of the game at the 15:01 mark to go up 13-5. The Bulldogs answered as Jasmine Hickman scored her third goal of the game to cut the lead to 14-6. The Blue Devils were able to added four goals in the final 10 minutes to move on to the semifinals.
Gabbi Larkin scored her 17th of the season to make it 14-6 followed by a goal from Vickers (Collins). Alyssa Melotik (SR/Troy, MI) scored her first of the year at the 8:28 mark off a beautiful pass from Larkin. Gagnon scored the final goal of the game on an assist from Kalo.
"We played well early and kind of lost focus late in the first half. At halftime we discussed why we have been successful - we are unselfish, we communicate on defense, and our redirect is strong. We focused on the positives and what has made us successful this year and it showed in the second half."
Marie Klonowski (JR/Gurnee, IL) made her 18th start in goal, making nine saves on 15 shots on goal for a .600 save percentage. Kalo finished the game with six goals and two assists followed by Vickers with four goals and three assists. Gagnon finished the game with three goals and an assist while Collins added a pair of goals and one assist. Kalo and Larkin each had two caused turnovers as the team recorded seven in the game. Marci Schaeffer (JR/Eaton Rapids, Mich.) recorded a team high three groundballs.
Lawrence Tech now awaits the winner of the Davenport/Ave Maria game for a 4 p.m. game on Friday, May 5.
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