After falling behind 4-1, The College of Wooster women's lacrosse team stormed back to outscore KenyonKenyon College 9-2 in taking a commanding 10-6 lead late in regulation, and the Fighting Scots went on to a 10-8 victory in Saturday's North Coast Athletic Conference championship game at Gambier, Ohio.
Wooster (12-3) claimed its second NCAC championship in a row and sixth overall, all of them coming in the last nine years. This one many did not see coming, though, as the Scots were picked to tie for third-place in the coaches' preseason poll after losing six senior starters to graduation.
Seeded second in the NCAC tourney and playing a true road game with the title on the line, Wooster got off to a slow start as it trailed by three just past the midway point of the first half.
The tide started to change when the Scots weathered a pair of three-minute penalties, during which freshman goalie Shawna Ferris came up with two key saves, and they continued to build momentum via two quick scores on the offensive end. Nina Dine notched an unassisted goal at the 7:57 mark and just 19 seconds later, Wooster got another one when Emily Meyer converted a free-position attempt.
The Scots stayed hot, closing the half with two more unanswered goals, the first by Madison Carey and the second by Dine to take the lead (5-4) for the first time.
Becca Worthington netted the second half's initial score on an unassisted shot, giving Wooster a two-goal edge.
Top-seeded Kenyon (14-2) finally ended the 5-0 run around the 20-minute mark, only to see Wooster get the next three, Dine's third of the afternoon on a free position and then back-to-back Jess Cleveland goals, which added up to a 9-5 cushion.
The next goal went to the host Ladies, putting them within three with a little over 10 minutes remaining, but then the Scots' defense settled in and their offense effectively worked the clock down before Carey threw one in for a four-goal lead with just 4:36 left.
Kenyon scored twice more, the second coming at the 1:16 mark, but Katie Smart gained control of the ensuing draw to seal the outcome.
Offensively, Carey and Dine each finished with hat tricks to pace Wooster, and also of note, Amy Denny tallied seven draw controls, Ferris collected six saves, and Isabel Baylor contributed two caused turnovers and five groundballs.
Carey, Cleveland, Eileen Hagen, and Jacqueline Wallat were the Scots' representatives on the all-tournament team.
NCAA first-round play is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, May 12.