Fast Start Propels SCAD to Second Straight National Title Game
Grand Rapids, Mich. – The top-ranked and defending NAIA Invitational Champion SCAD Savannah (Ga.) opened the game on a 9-2 run to defeat No. 4 Lawrence Tech (Mich.) 18-11 in the semifinals of the NAIA Women’s Lacrosse Invitational Friday afternoon at the AQ Athletic Field. With the win, the Bees advances to their second straight NAIA Invitational Championship game and improve to 14-0, while the Blue Devils fall to 14-5.
SCAD netted four straight goals, including a pair from Sydney Knego, to take a 4-0 lead with 22:33 remaining. Lawrence Tech got on the board as Isabelle Vickers connected with Marci Schaeffer for a goal to make it 5-1. SCAD recorded five of the next six goals to extend their lead to 9-2 with 14:12 remaining in the first half. The two teams traded goals before Lawrence Tech tallied three straight to cut the score to 10-6 with 2:03 remaining. SCAD added a goal just before the half as Jo Mitchell found Katie Rowell cutting towards the cage to give the Bees an 11-6 advantage at the break.
The two teams traded goals to start the second half. Rowell and Knego tallied back-to-back goals to extend SCAD’s lead to 14-7 with 12:35 remaining. Lawrence Tech battled back tallying three of the next four goals, including a free position goal by Ashley Sherry to advance their score to 15-10 with 6:05 remaining. That was the closest the game got as the two teams traded goals, before Drew Dowgiallo and Knego each connected with the back of the cage for the 18-11 final.
SCAD led in all statistical categories. The Bees outshot Lawrence Tech 55-28, grabbed 17-of-27 draw controls, and scooped up 34 ground balls compared to the Blue Devils 32.
Leading the way for SCAD was Knego, who tallied eight goals, nine points, and eight draw controls. Taylor Vaccaro and Casey Summerson finished with five points apiece, while Shannon Flaherty forced five turnovers and netted a pair of goals.
Vickers led the way for Lawrence Tech with two goals, three assists, and six draw controls. Dorie Coggin recorded 22 saves in the cage and scooped four ground balls. Marci Schaeffer tallied a game-high six caused turnovers and five ground balls.
The Bees will face third-seed Indiana Tech for the championship Saturday, May 12, at 1 p.m.