Boston College Upsets No. 2 Seed Florida at WCLA Day One
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (May 7, 2014) – Boston College, seeded 15th among 16 teams in the US Lacrosse Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) Division I National Championship, pulled off the biggest surprise of the opening day, eliminating No. 2 seed Florida, 18-16. The Eagles built a 9-6 halftime advantage and then withstood a second half rally from the Gators to secure the win and advance to Thursday's quarterfinal round.
"We really were not intimidated by the seed factor," said BC coach Suzanne Aronowitz. "We're confident that we can play with anybody in this tournament."
Sophomore midfielder Kaitlin Brown led the BC offense with five goals and two assists, while senior Nicole Wei added four goals. At the other end, goalie Marina Guigli, a transfer from NCAA Division III William Smith, stopped 11 shots to help keep the Gators' at bay. Florida pulled to within one goal twice in the second half, the last time at 16-15 with 10:50 remaining, but never pulled even.
The Eagles will face another upset victor – No. 10 seed UC Santa Barbara – on Thursday. The Gauchos disposed of the defending national champion, No. 7 seed Colorado State, 15-5. UCSB controlled play from the outset in this rematch of last year's national championship game, jumping to a first half lead of 8-1 and maintaining a comfortable working margin throughout. Senior Blair Evans led UCSB with six goals and one assist, while Amanda Shoemaker added four goals, including three straight at one point in the second half.
UCSB coach Paul Ramsey credited his team's aggressive approach against Colorado State's zone as the key to the game.
"We didn't want to be content in just passing the ball around the outside of the zone," he said. "We were focused on having somebody beat somebody so that we could attack."
No. 3 seed Ohio State needed a heroic effort from attacker Eve Tranchito to stave off another upset by a double-digit seed, specifically, No. 14 Delaware. The Buckeyes trailed 6-1 midway through the first half and 8-4 at halftime before Tranchito took matters into her own hands. The senior had a part in all eight second half goals for OSU – scoring five times and assisting on the three others – to lead Ohio State to a 12-11 win. Tranchito finished the game with 12 points (7g-5a), the second highest single-game total in tournament history.
"I was determined not to leave this game with a loss," she said. "I was not ready to lose."
The Buckeyes will face No. 6 seed Santa Clara on Thursday. The Broncos scored the final two goals of the game to rally for a 12-11 win over No. 11 seed Colorado. Santa Clara's Dana Kilsby netted the game-winner, her fifth marker of the day, with 2:16 left to overcome a 12-save effort by Colorado goalie Valerie Daniels.
With one exception, games played earlier in the day provided far less drama than the four afternoon contests. Predictably, based on the seeds, the closest contest was No. 8 Michigan's 9-8 victory over No. 9 Towson. Trailing 7-5 in the second half, the Wolverines outscored the Tigers 4-1 over the final 20 minutes, with sophomore Ellen Manson netting all three of her goals during that run. Grace Collins recorded 10 saves in goal for Michigan.
Meanwhile, No. 1 Pittsburgh had little trouble in downing first-time national championship participant Oregon State, 20-6. Thirteen different players scored for the high-octane Panthers, who followed a season-long blueprint of jumping out quickly and pushing the tempo.
"We like the fast pace and we do a good job of sharing the ball," said Coach Gary Neft, the WCLA's 2014 D-I Coach of the Year. "We have 11 seniors on the team who are making their third nationals appearance in four years, so that also helps."
No. 4 seed Georgia used a big second half to defeat No. 13 Texas, 14-7. Leading by just one goal at halftime, the Bulldogs outscored the Longhorns 9-3 after intermission to move into the quarterfinal round. Junior Jenna Dreyer led the way with four goals while eight other Bulldogs also scored at least once. Georgia's goalie Caroline Youngs added 11 saves.
A balanced attack was also key for No. 5 UCLA in its 15-10 win over No. 12 Virginia Tech. Eight different Bruins scored in the victory, led by three goals each by freshman Gretchen Kiep and sophomore Samantha Fletcher.
All teams will return to action on Thursday, with quarterfinal round games in the winner's bracket set to start at 1 p.m. and consolation bracket games scheduled for 4 p.m.
The 12-team Division II tournament also begins Thursday, with round robin games scheduled throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m.
WCLA Division I Championship – Wednesday's First Round Game Scores
#1 Pitt 20, #16 Oregon State 6
#4 Georgia 14, #13 Texas 7
#5 UCLA 15, #12 Va Tech 10
#8 Michigan 9, #9 Towson 8
#15 Boston College 18, #2 Florida 16
#3 Ohio State 12, #14 Delaware 11
#6 Santa Clara 12, #11 Colorado 11
#10 UC Santa Barbara 15, #7 Colorado State 5
Thursday's Quarterfinals (Games begin at 1
Pittsburgh vs. Michigan
UCLA vs. Georgia
Ohio State vs. Santa Clara
UC Santa Barbara vs. Boston College
Thursday's Consolation Bracket (Games begin at 4
Oregon State vs. Towson
Virginia Tech vs. Texas
Delaware vs. Colorado
Colorado State vs. Florida
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