Women's Lacrosse tops Reinhardt, sets record with 11th win
By Matt Green
ROME -- Senior Whitney Dixe scored three goals and had three assists, Avery Armstrong led all players with five goals and Shorter University downed visiting Reinhardt University 22-11 in a National Women's Lacrosse League matchup at Ben Brady Field on Tuesday evening.
The win, Shorter's second in a row, improves the Lady Hawks to 11-5 overall and 7-2 in the NWLL. The 11 wins are the most in the program's brief two-year history, surpassing the 10 victories Shorter achieved in its first season as a program in 2011.
The Lady Hawks also move one step closer to locking up the No. 3 seed in the upcoming NWLL Tournament, which Shorter hosts next weekend. A win over Aquinas in Friday's regular season finale, and Shorter would more than likely be looking at a rematch with Reinhardt in the tournament's quarterfinal round next Thursday.
If a rematch is in the cards, Shorter sure looked like it would capture the role of favorite in that next meeting.
The Lady Hawks scored 10 of the game's first 12 goals, led 14-5 at halftime and withstood a small charge from Reinhardt early in the second half before surging ahead by double digits for the final 20 minutes of the game.
Dixe, playing in her final regular season home game as one of two Shorter seniors honored during halftime, was a major reason. The program's all-time leading scorer netted the first goal of the game and then assisted on Bianca Rojas' strike with 7:25 left in the first half that put Shorter up 10-2.
Reinhardt closed the gap to 15-8 early in the second half thanks in part to a pair of goals from Ashley Gongas, but the Lady Hawks answered back with six unanswered goals to regain control. Dixe sandwiched goals around her assist of Katie Ott's tally to make it 20-8. Amber Hicks then scored her second goal of the game with 8:32 to play to cap the spurt and give Shorter's its largest lead of 21-8.
Kayla Bell, Shorter's other senior, was brilliant in defense for the Lady Hawks, helping Shorter contain one of the NWLL's most potent goal scorers in Reinhardt's Emily Collins. Collins took 10 shots, but scored just four goals, constantly being subjected to double teams from a ball hawking Shorter back line.
Ott added four goals and an assist and Amelia Wiggins added three goals for Shorter, which outshot Reinhardt 36-24 and held a 30-25 advantage in ground balls. Patrice Allen, making her second straight start in goal for the Lady Hawks, made eight saves in just under 38 minutes of work while Sophia Pacino entered in the second half and made three stops.
Shorter's regular season finale against Aquinas in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Friday is set to begin at 5 pm.