Greenville, S.C. – (Box Score) Defending invitational champion and No. 2 seed Davenport (Mich.) used a strong second half to defeat No. 7 Ave Maria (Fla.), 15-9, in the second quarterfinal match of the 2017 NAIA Invitational Thursday afternoon at Sirrine Stadium. With the win the Panthers improve to 15-2, while the Gyrenes finish 7-7.
Davenport got the board first netting a pair of goals to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead 1:03 into the game. Ave Maria responded as Katelyn Sherman and Mackenzie Tourville each convert a goal to tie the game 2-2. The Panthers scored three unanswered goals, including two from Jessica Lemcke to take a 5-2 lead with 19:22 left in the first half. The two teams traded goals before the Gyrenes score twice to cut the deficit to 6-5. Both teams converted a free position shot in the final minutes of the half to give Davenport a 7-6 lead at the break.
The second half began much like the first with Brooke Knoll scoring a pair of goals to extend the Panthers lead to 9-6. The two teams traded goals before Tourville found Georgia Miller cutting towards the cage for a goal to make it 10-8 with 18:29 left. Davenport scored five of the final six goals for the 15-9 final.
Leading the way for Davenport was Lemcke who recorded seven goals and dished out an assist. Taylor Ries added four goals, while Knoll finished with a hat trick. Samantha Powers made eight saves in the cage, while Ryann Deuel scooped up a team-high five draw controls.
Tourville led the way for Ave Maria with four goals and an assist. Sherman added a pair of goals and an assist, while Alexis Smich scooped up seven ground balls. Bianca Ballarin made a game-high 18 saves fpr the Gyrenes.
Davenport advances to the semifinals Friday against Lawrence Tech. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.