Lexington, Ky. – Four different Pioneers recorded hat-tricks and the Transylvania women's lacrosse team opened the 2020 season with a thrilling 16-12 victory over the Capital University Crusaders at Pat Deacon Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The victory is the first of the season for Transylvania and the first in program history over Capital. The Crusaders suffered their first loss of the season against Transy to drop to 2-1 on the season.
Rachel Johnston led an offensive explosion for the Pioneers with a team-high six points consisting of three goals and three assists in the victory.
The Pioneers opened the season with a bang as Sophia Sparks scored her first career goal just 20 seconds into the game. The Pioneers added four additional goals over the next six minutes to take a 5-1 lead over Capital.
After a 15-minute scoring drought, the Pioneers' offense came back to life with goals from Sparks, Carlow, and Johnston. The Crusaders found some footing with two late first-half goals that cut the Transylvania lead to 8-4 at the halftime break.
Capital opened the second half with a furious offensive outburst, outscoring Transylvania 4-1 over the first 10 minutes of the half.
Undeterred by the Capital attack, the Pioneers responded with scoring strikes from McCulley, Carlow, and Courtney Pontious.
Then, with less than 10 minutes left in the game, Olivia Livingston scored her first goal of the season to push the Transylvania lead out to 13-9 over Capital.
The Crusaders mounted one final counterattack, scoring three straight goals in the waning moments of the game to thin the Transylvania lead to just one goal. The Pioneers mounted one final onslaught with a trio of strikes from Sparks, Johnston, and McCulley to secure the 16-12 victory.
In her Transylvania debut, Abi Waldron collected eight crucial saves in goal and allowed just 12 goals en route to her first victory as a Pioneer.
Transylvania will return to play on Saturday, February 29, when the Pioneers travel to Westerville, Ohio, to match up with the Otterbein University Cardinals. Opening draw is set for 1:00 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
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