Detroit Mercy victorious over Butler in home opener
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 02/19/2019
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Detroit Mercy's Morgan Girardi
Courtesy: Detroit Mercy Athletics

PONTIAC, Mich. -- Six Titans scored multiple goals and the University of Detroit Mercy women's lacrosse team used a strong second half on both sides of the ball for a 17-13 victory in its home opener from Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac. The victory was the first in the head coaching career of Megan Callahan '13. 

Detroit Mercy (1-2), which led 10-9 at halftime over the Bulldogs, scored six of the first seven goals in the second half to take advantage of the contest. The Titans used five different goal scorers during the 6-1 run to take a 16-10 lead with 13:07 left in the game. The red, white and blue allowed just four second-half goals from the Bulldogs as senior goalkeeper Allison McDonough made five saves in the final 10 minutes and the Titans had three caused turnovers across that stretch.

Senior attacker Lexie Kinmond led the Titans offensively with two goals and four assists for six points, while senior midfielder Morgan Girardi had four goals and one assist for five points. Junior midfielder Kaitlyn Wandelt tallied two goals and two assists, while leading the team with nine draw controls and three caused turnovers.

Freshman midfielder Elise Harder notched her first collegiate hat trick with three goals, adding seven draw controls as the Titans had 21 as a team, the fourth-most in team history for a single-game. Senior attacker Emma Leszcak and sophomore attacker Kamryn Carraro each added two goals for Detroit Mercy, while sophomore attacker Kristina Ellis and freshman midfielder Taryn McManus each added a goal, with McManus' being her first collegiate goal for the red, white and blue.

Detroit Mercy and Butler traded goals for much of the first half with the Titans scoring the first three of the game. Girardi scored the first on a man-up opportunity before Leszczak scored back-to-back goals on assists from classmates Kinmond and Wandelt. Girardi had a hat trick by the 17:24 mark of the first half as she scored two more goals to give Detroit Mercy a 5-2 lead.

The Bulldogs came back, however, and tied the game up 7-7 with 6:22 left in the first half. Wandelt then answered on a great individual effort and Kinmond and Harder both scored before the halftime break as Harder's goal with 37 seconds left on a free-position chance gave the Titans a 10-9 halftime lead.

Harder opened the second half with a goal off a feed from Kinmond and then Girardi scored just seconds later. Ellis added a goal at the 21:41 mark as Detroit Mercy opened the second half with three consecutive goals to take a 13-9 lead. After a Butler goal, Corraro opened another 3-0 run with her first goal of the season. After Wandelt scored, Corraro then added another to make the score 16-10 with 13:07 remaining.

Butler scored twice after Corraro's second to pull within four goals, 16-12, but McDonough and the Titan defense were dominate in the final 10 minutes of the contest with McDonough turning away several shots -- many of them from close range. Harder added her third goal of the game with 4:12 left on the clock and the Titan defense did the rest down the stretch to seal the first victory of 2019.

Detroit Mercy held the shot advantage in the game, 37-28. The Titans also held a 21-11 lead in draw controls in the contest, securing 13 in the opening half and holding an 8-4 edge in the second frame. The 21 draw controls is tied for the most in school history for a single game with Wandelt (nine DC) and Harder (seven DC) combining for 16 of those draw controls. The Titans also had 11 saves, compared to nine from Butler.

Wandelt led the squad with three caused turnovers, while Kinmond added two CT. Six other Titans had caused turnovers as Detroit Mercy had 11 as a team. Wandelt and Kinmond each tallied four ground balls and senior defender Alex McCafferty and McDonough both nabbed three GB. Sophomore defender Sarah Lucas added two ground balls.

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