Big first half run keys SCAD-Savannah's win over Women's Lax
By Matt Green
ROME -- Shorter's Avery Armstrong, Whitney Dixe, Amelia Wiggins and Bianca Rojas scored two goals apiece, but visiting SCAD-Savannah used a key 7-0 run in the first half to battle back from an early deficit and settle in for a 15-11 victory over the Lady Hawks in a National Women's Lacrosse League matchup on Sunday afternoon at Ben Brady Field.
The win secures at least a No. 2 seed in the upcoming NWLL Tournament for the Bees (10-3, 9-1 NWLL), who are in their first season as members of the league. Indiana Tech has the inside track to the No. 1 seed with one conference game against seventh-place Davenport remaining on its league schedule.
Shorter (9-5, 6-2) falls into a tie for third place in the NWLL standings with Tennessee Wesleyan. The Lady Hawks own the tiebreaker over Tennessee Wesleyan by virtue of their 13-12 win over the Bulldogs last week, but will need to win their final two conference outings against Reinhardt (April 10) and Aquinas (April 13) to ensure the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
The top eight finishers in the 11-team league qualify for the NWLL Tournament which is hosted by Shorter on April 19-21.
Looking for its second marquee win in a row, Shorter got off to a good start against the Bees, who were wrapping up a series of three NWLL games in three days.
Wiggins, Desiree Watson-Isom, Rojas and Rachel Skinner scored four unanswered goals to put Shorter up 4-1 10:18 into the game. But SCAD-Savannah responded with seven straight goals of its own, five of which came from Kayla Nelson, the NWLL's second-leading goal scorer. Nelson's final strike during the flurry came with 7:13 left until halftime and put the Bees up 8-4.
Shorter cut the deficit in half with two goals from Dixe, but Nelson struck again with 56 seconds left until halftime to make it 9-6 in favor of SCAD-Savannah at the break.
Shorter put up a valiant effort in the second half, but could never close the gap to closer than two goals. Wiggins scored with 21:19 to play to bring the Lady Hawks to within 12-10, but Shorter went scoreless for the next 15:53 as the Bees notched a pair of goals to extend their lead back out to four goals and put the game out of reach.
Shorter outshot SCAD-Savannah 37-30, but the brilliant work of Bees' goalie Jenny Danko saved the day for the guests. Danko made 18 saves on the day and held Shorter to 3-for-12 accuracy in free position attempts. 10 of those saves came in the second half and prevented Shorter from making a serious push at the lead.
Armstrong added two assists and Watson-Isom caused five turnovers and scooped four ground balls in a solid performance. Nelson paced SCAD-Savannah with a game-high seven goals while Charlotte Cutts added three tallies.
Shorter returns to action on Saturday, April 7 with a 1 pm contest against NCAA Division III Methodist College on Ben Brady Field.