NEWARK, Del. - - For the first time since 2006, the Wilmington University women's lacrosse team begins he season 5-0, defeating Shepherd, 13-11, on Tuesday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
The netminding of Tori Grubowski and Katie Vindigni powered the Wildcats to their fifth straight win to start the season, coming up with 13 saves on 24 shots. The 2006 team, the first year of the program, played five NCAA Division III opponents to start the season, winning all five games.
The back-and-forth match started with the Wildcats scoring three of the first four goals in the game. Maddie Day, Campbell Heller and Makenzie Stritzinger all scored to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead with 5:15 left in the first quarter.
Ella Baynes and Amelie Gamache scored the first two goals of the second quarter to take a 6-3 lead, but Shepherd answered right back by scoring a pair of goals to get to within 6-5, and then the teams split goals to head into the halftime break down just one, 7-6.
The Rams (2-2) scored the first goal of the third quarter to tie the game, but then Ella Baynes and Taylor Lambeth scored consecutive goals and another two straight goals from Campbell Heller and Maddie Day gave the Wildcats an 11-8 lead with 3:53 left in the third quarter.
Playing the possession game for most of the fourth quarter, Campbell Heller gave the Wildcats a 13-9 lead with 12:44 to play before the Wildcats hung on down the stretch for the 13-11 victory.
The two-time reigning CACC Rookie of the Week Campbell Heller once again led the Wildcats, scoring three goals and adding an assist in the win. She also collected five draws and had two ground balls and a caused turnover.
Ella Baynes and Maddie Day scored three goals each while Taylor Lambeth scored two goals and added an assist. Lambeth now has 197 career points. Makenzie Stritzinger scored once and added five draws, three caused turnovers and two ground balls.
Tori Grubowski played the first half in goal and made six saves before Katie Vindigni came on and played the second half. Vindigni earned the win, making seven saves, including five in the third quarter in which the Wildcats took control of the game.
The Wildcats will look to remain unbeaten when they play again on Saturday afternoon. They remain at the WU Athletics Complex as they welcome Millersville for a 1:00 p.m. opening draw.