Marlins Push Past Quakers into Semis

VWC Heads to Top-Ranked Washington and Lee on Wednesday

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --- Everything came together impressively on both sides of the field for Virginia Wesleyan College's women's lacrosse team in the second half of Saturday's Old Dominion Athletic Conference quarterfinal tournament contest against Guilford College's Quakers.

The result was an 8-1 half posted by the host Marlins en route to an 18-7 victory on Foster Field at the Trinder Center.  The victory moves Virginia Wesleyan (10-7) to the ODAC semifinals for the eight time in the past 10 years.  The Marlins will compete again on Wednesday, May 4, at Washington & Lee University at a time to be determined.

Shortly after Guilford (6-11) scored three consecutive goals to pull within a 7-6 score, VWC head coach Fran Pochily called for a timeout to talk things over with her troops. The Marlins returned to the field with a rejuvenated purpose and not only dominated the final seven minutes of the first half, but also the first 18 minutes of the second half.

Virginia Wesleyan went on a 10-0 scoring run in that span, as five different Marlins fired in goals, led byCourtney Williams (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) and Tara Harding (Waterford, N.Y./Shenendehowa) with three each and Natalie Belva (Colorado Springs, Colo./Liberty) with two.  Courtney Shelton (Prince Frederick, Md./Huntingtown) started the scoring surge with a goal off an assist from Belva, and Nikki Salyers (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) ended it with a goal, on another Belva assist.

Summer Frazier (Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood) scored off an assist from E'Leyna Garcia (Plantation, Fla./Pine Crest) for Guilford to stop the Marlins' run with 7:35 remaining in the game.  Rachel Gratton (Startham, N.H./Exeter) capped all scoring with an unassisted shot at 5:32.

Belva and Harding led VWC with four goals each, Williams added three, and Lauren Davis (Middleburg, Va./Mercersburg Academy, Pa.)and Salyers tallied two each.  Frazier led Guilford with three goals.

VWC outshot Guilford 40-21, post a 33-21 advantage in ground balls, and won 18-of-27 draw control showdowns. Belva led VWC with six draw control wins and seven ground balls.

Brittany MacKnew (Abingdon, Md./Bel Air) aided the VWC effort with 10 saves in almost 50 minutes. Michelle Mace (Dumfries, Va./Woodbridge Forest Park)protected the goal for the final 10 minutes and had one save.  Liz Mettler (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Beaumont) posted 10 saves for Guilford.

This release is courtesy of the Virginia Wesleyan College sports information department.