After three years of lopsided defeats, the Fort Lewis College womens lacrosse team finally had Colorado College on the ropes.
Abby Fink, however, simply refused to let the Tigers lose.
Fink, the Tigers goalie, stopped a whopping 16 shots, including several stellar saves in the final 10 minutes to push Colorado College past the Skyhawks 14-12 on Sunday at Ray Dennison Memorial Field.
Fink came up biggest when Fort Lewis (6-6) had free position chances. She allowed the Skyhawks to hit only seven of 19 attempts with the clear path at goal, including allowing just five on 13 shots in the first half to keep Colorado College and Fort Lewis tied at 6 at halftime.
Their goalie did extremely well, FLC head coach Kelsey MacDonald said. We had trouble moving her and finding the space behind her.
Finks heroics overshadowed a quality defensive performance from Fort Lewis. The Skyhawks outshot the Tigers 36-25, and aside from a couple miscues, used an active, trapping defense to push Colorado College shooters out of range and force 29 turnovers.
Its the best feeling in the world to pressure them in the beginning and make them drop it or make a bad pass, but its also a lot of extra work, so you definitely have to put some extra effort in, FLCs Brook Wineland said.
Grace Maloney scored four times for the Tigers (11-2), who got single goals from Leslie Jacoby, Anna Crosby, Madeline Scherer, Ellie Cole, Kelsey Morell, Kate Krieger, Madeline Pitkin, Ginna Oates, Dylan Voneiff and Kirby Leyshon. Cole, Crosby, Jacoby, Scherer and Virginia Logue had assists.
Abby Kvidera, Ally Kvidera and Jessica Adams each had hat tricks for Fort Lewis.
Wineland added a pair of goals, and Jessica Norby tallied once for the Skyhawks, who held the lead four times but never had more than a two-goal edge.
When we dropped our stick low and shot high or faked her or passed really quick ... I think that seemed to work pretty well, Wineland said of beating Fink.
Both teams traded the lead early in the second half until Maloneys goal with a man-advantage and a Maloney free-position tally gave Colorado College a two-goal edge.
Ally Kvideras free-position goal cut the lead to 11-10 with 8:06 to go, but Norbys attempt to equalize moments later rang off the post.
Maloney scored her final two goals after Norbys near-miss to push the lead to 13-10 with 5:31 left to play. Abby Kvidera, Cole and Adams would trade goals to provide the final margin.
Despite the loss, MacDonald said she wasnt disappointed with the effort from her squad.
In its first three years in existence, the Fort Lewis program had lost three times to the Tigers by a combined 36 goals, so a narrow loss was a sign of progress.
Overall, I think it was a battle, MacDonald said. It was a bummer we couldnt come out on top because we played very good defense. It was one of those games where you play an amazing game for the most part, and you dont come out on top.
Fort Lewis returns to Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association play Friday when Regis comes to town at 1 p.m.