HICKORY, N.C. – Sophomore midfielder Allie Sheftall scored a career high four goals, but the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team dropped a regional road contest to Lenoir-Rhyne University on Monday afternoon. The loss drops Saint Leo to a mark of 1-1, while Lenoir-Rhyne advances its young season to 2-1.
The Bears were led in scoring by Claire Welch, whose four goals and two assists made for a game high six points. Kelsie Swanson tallied a hat trick and two assists for five points overall, while Lauren Donovan, Bailey Leonard, and Kristen Smith each scored two goals of their own.
Brittany Millsap started in cage for the Lions, making seven saves while allowing 10 goals in 27:52 of action between the pipes. Freshman Kaylyn Kearns made her collegiate debut seeing 32:08 in cage, and allowing just four goals while making nine saves. Their counterpart for Lenoir-Rhyne, Amanda Cotto, made 14 saves while allowing nine goals.
Saint Leo got the ball rolling in the first half, scoring a minute and a half into the game, but the Bears answered back with three of their own to pull ahead to a 3-1 lead with 26:16 before the break. Jolly scored next off of an assist from Miller, but Lenoir-Rhyne rattled off five straight to pull ahead to an 8-2 advantage with 10:00 minutes to go before halftime.
Sheftall netted an unassisted goal to pull the Lions to within five, but the Bears retaliated with two more to pull ahead 10-3 with two minutes to go. With 22 seconds on the clock before the break, Sheftall scored her second of the day, leaving the Lions trailing by a score of 10-4 at the half.
Despite outscoring Lenoir-Rhyne 5-4 in the final 30 minutes of play, the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team was unable to pull out a comeback bid, falling to the Bears by five points.
Saint Leo trailed the shot count, 41-30, but pulled in 32 ground balls while the Bears earned 33. Both teams committed 27 fouls. Saint Leo was successful on 24-of-31 clear attempts, and pulled in seven draw controls to Lenoir-Rhyne's 18.
The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team returns to action on Sunday, March 2, when they take on Gannon University in their home opener at University Turf Stadium. Game time against the Knights is slated for 1 p.m.
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