GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The No. 3-ranked Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University women's lacrosse team defeated defending NAIA Invitational Champions and No. 2-ranked Davenport (Mich.) University 14-11 to earn Lawrence Tech's first trip to a NAIA Invitational Championship game, an LTU athletics first.
"We came out so strong in the first half and we were completely fired up," Lawrence Tech Head Coach Mary Ann Meltzer said. "But we got complacent and started to play not to lose instead of playing to win. Thankfully our first half gave us the cushion to get the win and move on to the championship game."
Lawrence Tech (18-1) jumped out to a 13-0 lead on Davenport as they went to halftime up 13-3. Kadijah Kalo (SR/East Lansing, MI) opened the scoring with 1:28 into the game on an assist from Isabelle Vickers (JR/Rockford, MI). Ashley Collins (JR/Hartland, MI) made it 2-0 on an unassisted goal followed by goal from VIckers to make it 3-0. Gabi Larkin took a Collins pass to the back of the net to give LTU a 4-0 lead with 23:58 left in the first half.
Anna Gagnon (FR/Grand Haven, Mich.) made it 5-0 off a Vickers pass followed by Vickers free-position goal with 23:37 left in the first half to take a 6-0 lead. Gagnon scored her second off a Larkin pass to give Lawrence Tech a 7-0 lead. Collins, Kalo, and Vickers added three straight goals to give the Blue Devils a 10-0 lead with 12:07 remaining in the half.
Vickers added her fourth of the game to give LTU an 11-0 lead followed by Alyssa Melotik (SR/Troy, MI) who made it 12-0. Collins made it 13-0 with her third of the half before Davenport closed the half with three straight goal.
The second half was all Davenport as they went on an 11-0 run to close the gap to 13-11 with 11 minutes left in the game.
Kalo added her third goal of the game to give Lawrence Tech a three goal cushion with 6:25 left in the game. Davenport got five yellow cards in the final six minutes as Lawrence Tech was able to stay disciplined and secure the win to earn the program's first ever NAIA Invitational Championship Appearance.
Vickers led all scorers with four goals and three assists while Kalo and Collins added three goals each. Gagnon finished with two goals while Larkin added one in the win. Marie Klonowski (JR/Gurnee, IL) made six saves on 17 shots on goal to secure her 18th win of the season.
"We are humbled by making the NAIA Invitational Championship game," said Meltzer. "Making the final game was one of our goals this season and we beat a phenomenal team in Davenport to reach the championship game. I told the girls over-and-over that if we are on, no one can beat us."
Lawrence Tech now awaits the winner of the No 1-ranked Savannah College of Art and Design/No. 4 Indiana Tech. The Championship Game is set for 4 p.m. at Sirrine Stadium.
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