NEW CASTLE, Del. – Junior attack Allison Brian (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) tied a career-high six goals, while senior attack Emily Ray (Bedminster, N.J./Bernards) scored a season-high five goals in the Philadelphia University women's lacrosse team's 21-9 win over Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) opponent Wilmington (Del.) Tuesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
The CACC southern division champion Rams end the regular season with 15 straight wins as they improve to 15-1 overall and finish CACC play with a perfect 11-0 mark. Philadelphia—ranked sixth in the NCAA Division II North Region Rankings—has won 21 straight CACC regular season matches.
The Rams will face Dominican (N.Y.), the second seed in the northern division, in the semifinal round of the CACC Tournament on Saturday, April 26 at Chestnut Hill College.
Wilmington (9-8, 6-5 CACC) jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Megan Keffer recorded an unassisted goal at the 27:29 mark.
The lead was short-lived as grad student midfielder Kristen Blye (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) scored 1:06 later, with an assist from junior attack Lauren Hartman (Sewell, N.J./Our Lady of Mercy), to tie the match at one.
Blye's goal started a string of 10 straight Philadelphia goals over a 14:37 stretch that allowed the Rams to take a 10-1 lead with 11:46 left in the first half. Blye and Brian each scored three times during the run, while Ray added a pair of goals. Senior midfielder Libby Nichols (Ellicott City, Md./McDonogh) and freshman midfielder Alyssa Matthews (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) also found the back of the net.
Rebekah McCurry put an end to the Philadelphia run with an unassisted goal at the 9:19 mark to trim the Rams' lead to 10-2.
Ray allowed Philadelphia to reestablish a nine-goal cushion with a short-handed goal at the 6:16 mark.
The Wildcats were able to cut the advantage to 10-5 at the half with goals from Ashley Kroll, Keffer, and, Katie Spence over the final 5:06.
Penelope Fantis made it a four-goal affair, scoring just 34 seconds into the second half to close Wilmington within 10-6.
Philadelphia would not let the home team get any closer as it rattled off eight straight goals to grab a 19-6 lead on back-to-back goals from Hartman. Brian led the charge with three goals and Ray contributed two.
Hartman and Matthews finished the match with two goals and three assists each. Blye (three goals, one assist) and Nichols (one goal, three assists) both had a four-point afternoon. Nichols added eight draw controls, three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Junior defender Allison Cassidy (Oceanside, N.Y./Oceanside) had a team-high five ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Keffer paced Wilmington with three goals, four draw controls, two ground balls, and two caused turnovers. McCurry ended up with one goal, three assists, five draw controls, five ground balls, and two caused turnovers.
In goal, junior Kristen Moran (Walden, N.Y./Valley Central) made three saves in 47:32 to pick up her 13th win of the year (13-1). Freshman Maria Matteis (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills) played the final 12:28, stopped two shots. The Wildcats Corinne Dries turned aside nine shots in a losing effort (9-8).
Philadelphia owned a 34-19 shot advantage.