HILLBURN, N.Y. - - An explosive first half turned into the Wilmington University women's lacrosse team's first victory of the 2014 season, as it defeated Nyack, 21-3, in both team's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener at the Torne Valley Complex on Wednesday afternoon.
The Wildcats (1-1 overall) scored the first five goals of the contest and went on to lead 13-1 after the opening 30 minutes before cruising to their first win of the season. Nyack (0-2 overall) received three goals from Lauren Lebo on the afternoon, but nearly went 33 minutes of game action between goals, allowing Wilmington to pull away.
Junior Rebekah McCurry put the Wildcats on the board 2:10 into the contest, scoring the first of her three goals on the afternoon. Senior Brittany Rhodes assisted on each of the next two goals by junior Katie Spence and freshman Gabby Spalt to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes.
Spence and junior Ashley Kroll scored 38 seconds apart to put the Wildcats ahead 5-0 with 18:22 to play in the first half before the Warriors got on the board shortly after the ensuing draw.
But Nyack scored its first goal of the game, it was all Wilmington for the next 32:51 of game play. The Wildcats scored the remaining eight goals of the first half, and added the first four goals of the second half to extend their lead to as large as 17-1 halfway through the second half.
Spalt started the run with 16:48 to play in the first half, scoring her second of a team high four goals on the afternoon. McCurry capped the first half off with a free position shot with 53 seconds showing on the clock, converting one of two from 8-meters out on the day.
Penelope Fantis started the goal scoring in the second half, tallying her second goal of the game just 30 seconds after the break. Rhodes, Megan Keffer, and Spalt added one goal each for the Wildcats before Lebo broke the run with the Warriors second goal of the game with 13:57 to play.
Wilmington used 10 different goal scorers on the afternoon, with Morgan Tildon adding an assist to bring the total to 11 different student-athletes recording at least one point in the victory.
Spalt led all scorers with four goals on a team high seven shots, while adding an assist. McCurry added the only other hat trick for the Wildcats, scoring three goals and adding an assist. Kroll, Spence, Keffer, Madeline Hewitt, Fantis, and Alexis Olsen each scored two goals in the victory.
The visitors out shot Nyack, 40-11, for the game including a 27-7 advantage in the first half. The Wildcats were able to stay on the offensive attack due to a 16-9 advantage in draw controls. McCurry finished with a game high five draw controls, adding three ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Senior goalkeeper Corinne Dries picked up her first win of the season, making five saves on the afternoon. She stopped four of the five shots on goal in the first half to allow the Wildcats to take the large lead into the halftime break. Nyack's net minder Jacqueline Simeon recorded eight saves in the loss.
The Wildcats will look to carry the momentum of Wednesday's victory into their next game on Saturday, as they return home to start a string of five straight contests at the WU Athletics Complex. The Wildcats host NCAA Division I and in-state foe Delaware State on Saturday, starting with the opening draw at 1 p.m.