PHILADELPHIA – Alyssa Matthews (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) scored a season-high five goals as the Philadelphia University women's lacrosse team cruised to a 14-8 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament first round victory over Wilmington (Del.) University Wednesday at The Salvation Army KROC Center.
With the victory, Philadelphia's fifth in a row, advances to the semifinal round to take on Dominican (N.Y.) on Saturday, April 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Georgian Court University. Philadelphia (9-7) and Dominican met on March 25 with the Chargers pulling out a 20-12 win on Ravenhill Field.
In addition to advancing in the CACC Tournament, the win is also significant for head coach George Chis-Luca, who reaches 100 wins in his coaching career. Chis-Luca, in his ninth season as the Rams' head coach, is the winningest coach in program history now has an overall record of 100-61 (.621).
Philadelphia dominated the opening 30 minutes of play to get out to an 8-1 advantage. The Rams outshot the Wildcats 20-6, forced 17 Wilmington turnovers, and had a 14-4 advantage in ground balls.
The Rams stormed out to a 4-0 advantage by the 10-minute mark. Matthews and Samantha Ryder (Perkasie, Pa./Pennridge) scored free-position goals for Philadelphia's first two goals of the afternoon. Laura Dunne (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley) tacked on the third goal with 22 minutes left in the half with an assist from Kathryn Avanzato (Lake Grove, N.Y./Sachem North)—one of seven assists she had in the match. Ryder made it 4-0 just 48 seconds later with an unassisted goal.
Playing a player up, Wilmington (7-10) got on the board at the 19:52 mark when Megan Card found the back of the net after receiving a pass from Gabby Spalt.
Erin Eckert (Warrington, Pa./Archbishop Wood) allowed Philadelphia to regain a four-goal advantage as she scored her first goal of the day at 13:50. Matthews scored the final three goals of the half to increase the gap to seven. Avanzato assisted on all four goals.
After Card opened the second-half scoring, Philadelphia ran off four straight goals—from four different players—to move in front 12-2 an Avanzato goal with 12:44 left in the match.
Wilmington trimmed the Philadelphia advantage to eight with back-to-back goals from La'Dae Boykin and Shawna Chopko.
The Rams got their 10-goal cushion back as Dunne scored at 7:45 and Matthews netted her fifth goal with 5:10 left to make the score 14-4. Both goals were assisted by Avanzato.
Ryder finished the match with three goals and three draw controls, while Eckert had two goals, two draw controls, and one ground ball. Isabella DiGnazio (Pittsburgh, Pa./Peters Twp.) had a goal, a draw control, and a caused turnover.
Sarah von Lange (Marroittsville, Md./Mount de Sales Academy) led the defensive effort with three of Philadelphia's 13 caused turnovers and two ground balls. Courtney Shaw (Langhorne, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie) added five ground balls and two caused turnovers.
In goal, Victoria Raimondi (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) stopped five shots to record her eighth win of the year, while Maddie Hurm had 11 saves.
Philadelphia ended the match with a 33-19 shot advantage and won the ground ball battle 24-14.