Tied 3-3 at halftime, the Fort Lewis College women’s lacrosse team came out determined in the second half to prove which team was truly better.
In the opening round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Tournament, the fourth-seed Skyhawks met up with fifth-seed Westminster in the first round at the home field of Regis University in Denver. FLC (9-6) outscored the Griffins (7-6) by three goals in the second half to secure a 12-9 victory.
That set’s up a huge opportunity for the Skyhawks at 4 p.m. Friday against top-seed Lindenwood (10-3), which is ranked No. 2 in all of NCAA Division II.
With the match tied at 7-all with 17 minutes, 27 seconds to play, the Skyhawks turned on the attack and scored three unanswered goals in the next 8 minutes of play.
Taylor Cabrera scored the first with an assist from Kelli Warmouth, and Ryann Pierce scored less than 90 seconds later with an assist from Rebecca Miller.
For good measure, Delaney Benson scored the game-winning goal unassisted with 9:20 to play.
A Westminster goal from Kiara Heiden cut the deficit to 10-8, but FLC answered back in the final 2 minutes of play with unassisted goals from Nikki Fry and Brooke Galle.
Cabrera led FLC with three goals. Sammy Delli, Fry and Pierce each had two. Benson, Galle and Miller each finished with one goal.
Katie Adams, Heiden, Madison Ingman and Kristina Sewell each had two goals to lead Westminster. Audree Erekson added one.
Alyssa Spencer, a Durango High alumna fresh off an All-RMAC Second Team selection, played all 60 minutes in goal and made 11 saves. She improved her overall record this year to 8-3.
Cabrera and Ashley Muckway each had five ground balls for FLC, and Ryanne Brust added four. Pierce led the Skyhawks with two draw controls. Of FLC’s 12 goals, six were assisted. Warmouth led the way with two.
Lindenwood had a bye in the first round of the tournament.
So did two-seed Regis, which will face three-seed Colorado Mesa in the other semifinal at 1 p.m. in Denver.