The College of Wooster women's lacrosse team's late-season surge came to an end Wednesday evening, as Wittenberg University built an early lead it would not relinquish in a 19-11 victory over the Fighting Scots in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals at Springfield, Ohio.
The Scots (5-8) entered the game as winners of five of their last seven games, including three in a row, but the top-seeded Tigers (14-2) jumped out to a 9-2 advantage midway through the first half to set the tone.
Wooster pulled within 11-6 thanks to goals from Ellie Hudson-Heck, Abby Szlachta, Shelby Stone, and Molly Sennett over a quick 6:19 span, but Wittenberg added three more tallies to make it 14-6 at the break.
The second half played out much differently than the first, as Wooster cut into its deficit and made things interesting. First, Hudson-Heck scored on a free-position shot, and then Eliza Perry beat the 'keeper for her second and third goals of the game to draw the Scots back within five (14-9) with about 20 minutes left in regulation.
Ultimately, both teams scored five times in a closely-contested second half, but the damage the Tigers did at the onset of the game was too much for Wooster to overcome.
Perry scored a season-high four goals to pace the Scots' offense, while Hudson-Heck chipped in a hat trick and an assist for her own four-point night. Stone, the reigning NCAC Player of the Week, added two goals and a helper in the setback.
Also noteworthy, Cassie Greenbaum played a strong game defensively, totaling a game-high five caused turnovers and two groundballs.
Wittenberg's Logan Warye was a handful for the Scots, as she factored into 10 of the Tigers' 19 points with seven goals and three assists.
Wooster, which took down Wittenberg in double overtime, 14-13, in last year's semifinal round, has qualified for the NCAC Tournament every year since its inception in 1999.