BLOOMSBURG, PA - Florida Southern College women's lacrosse grabbed an early lead, but was unable to overcome a stifling Adelphi defense in a 6-4 loss in the NCAA Division II championship game on Sunday at Steph Pettit Stadium.
The No. 4 Moccasins (21-3) jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, but the No. 1 Panthers (21-1) turned up the defensive pressure and possessed the ball for the vast majority of the game to avenge last year's national title loss to the Mocs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Adelphi struck first when Kate Beier scored with 25:47 remaining in the first half to put the Panthers on top, but the Moccasins responded with three-straight goals to take a 3-1 lead with just under seven minutes to play in the opening period.
• Shannon Gilfedder got the Mocs on the board at the 23:32 mark when she scored on a feed from Meghan O'Brien. After nearly 15 minutes with no scoring, O'Brien took a pass from Shannon Mazza and found the back of the net to make it 2-1. Gilfedder would score on a free-position shot with 6:47 to go, putting Florida Southern up 3-1.
• Adelphi was able to draw within one when Beier scored the second of her three goals with 1:47 remaining in the first half, and the Panthers headed to the locker room trailing by just a single goal.
• The Panthers would carry their momentum into the second half, reeling off four-straight goals in the final period of play. Adelphi regained the lead when Beth Ann Pierce scored on a free-position with just over 27 minutes to play, and never trailed again.
• Florida Southern was able to find some late life when Casey O'Brien scored with 3:26 to play to trim Adelphi's lead to two (6-4), but the Panthers were able to hold onto the ball and run out the clock.
• Adelphi finished with a 19-7 advantage in shots, holding the Moccasins to just two in the second half of play. Each team won six draw controls, but the big difference came in the turnover column as Florida Southern coughed up the ball 17 times and was never really able to find a rhythm on offense.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• Florida Southern fell to 5-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, and dropped to 1-4 all-time against Adelphi. The Moccasins also saw their school-record 18-game winning streak come to an end.
• The Moccasins fell to 98-23 all-time when ranked in the IWLCA top 20, and dropped to 27-16 all-time when facing a ranked opponent.
• Senior goalkeeper Taylor Gillis made nine saves in the contest, while Panther goalie Hailey Peterson was rarely tested, turning away just two shots on goal.
• Dani Bursinger, Shannon Gilfedder and Meghan O'Brien earned all-tournament honors, as selected by members of the NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse national committee. The Mocs ended the year with a school-record 21 wins.