MACON, Ga. – A high-scoring first half powered the Mercer Bears to an 18-8 victory over the Furman Paladins to claim the league’s first SoCon Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Saturday. Scoring seven goals in two games, five of which game in Saturday’s championship win, Mercer’s Kelly Hagerty was named the 2018 SoCon Women’s Lacrosse Championship Most Outstanding Player.
Additionally, Mercer’s Kendall Garrett earned the Pinnacle Award, which is given to the player with the highest grade point average from the championship team. Garrett, a senior from Plano, Texas, is a finance major with a 4.0 grade point average.
It took less than one minute for the scoring to begin as Furman’s Grace Pollak cut through the defense and gave Furman an early 1-0 lead. Just seconds later, Mercer would earn a free position attempt which Hagerty buried to even the score at 1-1. With the scored tied at 2-2, Mercer scored five unanswered goals, including a pair from Kate Leone and Caitlin Smith, as the Bears looked primed to take control of the game early.
At the 20:46 mark, Furman’s Britt Douglass found the back of the net to give the Paladins some momentum. With Furman looking to cut into the 7-3 lead, Iseabal Cryne made a big save on a free-position shot that led to a transition goal for the Bears.
With Mercer holding a commanding 14-5 lead, Furman’s Isabelle Walsh converted a free position attempt to make the score 14-6 as the two sides went to halftime.
The Bears came charging out of the gate in the second half, as Leone, who was named to the 2018 all-tournament team, scored less than a minute into the half to re-gain the Mercer momentum. Three-different Bears would then register goals as Mercer began to pull away from Furman.
With 8:34 to play, Furman tried to mount a comeback when Hannah Demis found Kyra Lamotte to make the score 18-7 in favor Mercer. Abby Shields would score to cut the deficit to 10, but Mercer was able to run the clock out and cruise to an 18-8 victory.
Mercer, which served as the host site for the tournament, earns an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Tournament. The selection show takes place on Sunday, May 6, at 9:30 p.m.
For complete coverage and more information, visit our championship page: http://www.soconsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=211654298&DB_OEM_ID=4000
SoCon Women’s Lacrosse Championship All-Tournament Team
Shannon Doyle, Central Michigan
Logan Halvorson, Central Michigan
Lexie Kinmond, Detroit Mercy
Kaitlyn Wandelt, Detroit Mercy
Maggie Friel, Furman
Meg Lingo, Furman
Abby Shields, Furman
Kelly Hagerty, Mercer
Kate Leone, Mercer
Lily Morin, Mercer
Audrey Robertson, Mercer
Lindsey Zeltwanger, Mercer
SoCon Women’s Lacrosse Championship Most Outstanding Player
Kelly Hagerty, Mercer
SoCon Women’s Lacrosse Championship Pinnacle Award Winner
Kendall Garrett, Mercer
SoCon Women’s Lacrosse Semifinals Thursday, May 3
Game 1: Mercer 18, No. 1 Detroit Mercy 17
Game 2: No. 3 Furman 13, No. 2 Central Michigan 10
SoCon Women’s Lacrosse Championship Saturday, May 5
No. 4 Mercer 18, No. 3 Furman 8