Late Rally Falls Short; Trojans Fall To Converse 6-5

Late Rally Falls Short; Trojans Fall To Converse 6-5

Mount Olive held Converse to a single goal in the second half, but a flurry of late goals was not enough for the Trojans in a 7-6 Conference Carolinas women's lacrosse defeat Saturday night at Amon Field. With the setback, the Trojans are the sixth seed for next week's conference tournament.

Converse's methodical, patient attack frustrated the Trojans from the outset. Time and time again the Valkyries (9-7 overall, 3-3 Conference Carolinas) held the ball for five or more minutes at a time before attempting a shot on goal.

The patience worked in the first half as Converse built a 6-2 lead by intermission.

The Trojans responded to an early 2-0 deficit with goals by Candace Corkin and Heather Cockburn less than two minutes apart to tie the contest.

The Trojans (9-7, 2-5) had their chances to stay with Converse early, but 10 first-half turnovers were their undoing. Converse regained the lead behind Brianna Hoffman, who assisted on a goal by Chelsea Worrell, then scored herself at the 14:34 mark for a 4-2 cushion.

In the second half, the Trojans cut their turnovers down to just four and won the battle of groundballs 8-5. Riann Daziel got the Trojans on the board eight minutes into the second half with a man-down goal from an assist by Sarah Fischer. The Trojans did not take another shot, however, for nearly 12 minutes as the Valkyries continued to milk the clock. When Converse's Sam Green found the back of the net with 12:30 left, the 7-3 lead appeared enough for the visitors.

Mount Olive had other ideas. Turning up the pressure on defense, the Trojans were able to come up with loose balls and attack quickly. In a span of 1:49, the Trojans cut the lead in half. First, Allie Dunn scored moments after her team went a man-up, then Daziel added her second goal on a breakaway after Cockburn forced a Valkyrie turnover near midfield.

After Daziel's marker, Converse won the draw and again turned to delay tactics. Jihee Choi forced a Converse turnover, but Valkyrie goalkeeper Alexandra Gurecki made a save on a free position shot from Daziel. Converse worked three minutes off the clock again before Corkin recovered a groundball and raced to the goal. A Valkyrie foul allowed Corkin a free position shot and she delivered to cut the lead to 7-6 with 3:31 remaining.

The Trojans never got another possession. After winning the ensuing draw, Converse kept the ball out of Mount Olive's hands the rest of the contest.

Daziel and Corkin finished with two goals apiece, while Cockburn and Dunn added one each. Fischer recorded the only assist.

Defensively, Cockburn and Michelle Scannell recorded four groundballs each, while Dunn and Caitlin Gore had two each. In goal, Sarah Snell finished with four saves.

Mount Olive will make its first appearance in the Conference Carolinas women's lacrosse tournament on Tuesday when the Trojans travel to the third seed Queens, who lost to Pfeiffer Saturday in a battle for the second seed. The winner of the Mount Olive-Queens game will face Pfeiffer in the semifinals next Saturday at Williams Stadium in Burlington, N.C.

Mount Olive lost to Queens 12-8 at Amon Field March 2.