Women’s Lacrosse advances to NCAA Tournament with 17-6 win over Alma

MIAA tournament champion Bulldogs
MIAA tournament champion Bulldogs

ADRIAN, Mich.  – Olivia Duncan and Cassie Hoyez scored five goals apiece to power the Adrian College women's lacrosse team (16-2) to the first-ever Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament Championship by defeating visiting Alma College (15-3), 17-6, on Saturday at Multi-Sport Performance Stadium.

Both teams entered the contest with 15-2 records. The win was Adrian's 10th consecutive and secures the team's participation in the NCAA Division III Tournament next week.

"I think this game will really prepare us for the NCAA Tournament next Wednesday," said Adrian head coach Rachel Cibulas.

"We played a bit of a slow first half but we knew if we focused on the small things that we would prevail. We're used to being a second half team so we knew to just throw it into second gear and move," said Cibulas.

The first half scoring for Adrian was led by Duncan and Stacey Birlson with three and two goals, respectively. Heather Newblom and Hoyez added single tallies in the opening half.

The Scots scored three of the first four goals of the second half to narrow Adrian's lead to 8-5, but that was the closest they would come.

The Bulldogs got nine of the game's last 10 goals to finish strong. Hoyez got four of her five markers in the latter half. Duncan and Hannah Early each added a pair while Maddie Dugan and TaShina Salas rounded out the second half scoring with single tallies.

Adrian goalkeeper Maddie McDonald registered 13 saves in recording her 16th win of the season.

The Bulldogs top-three scorers on the day were Duncan and Hoyez with five points followed by Birlson with four (two goals, two assists).

Adrian had the edge in groundballs, 15-9, and overall shots, 42-23.

Duncan had 14 shots on goal and her fifth goal of the game gave her a team-leading 80 for the season. Early's second goal gave her 55 for the season.

Hoyez led the team in groundballs with three. Birlson, Dugan, Salas, Early, and Laurel Van't Hof all had a pair of groundballs apiece.

Adrian will wait until the NCAA Tournament selection on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. to determine their location and opponent. The show can be seen live on NCAA.com (http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2013/05/05).

Adrian came close to an undefeated season with just two losses. The team dropped non-conference games to Denison University, 14-13, and No. 19 Christopher Newport University, 13-9.