Women's Lacrosse Pulls Away From Wesleyan With Strong Second Half, 17-10

MEDFORD – Senior Dakota Adamec matched a career-high in goals with eight to guide No. 6 Tufts women's lacrosse to a 17-10 conference win over No. 9 Wesleyan on Saturday at Bello Field. Seven of Adamec's eight goals came in the second half as the Jumbos overcame a 7-5 deficit.

Adamec netted eight goals and had nine shots on goal in the win

Tufts improves to 10-0 overall and remains unbeaten in the NESCAC with a 6-0 record. Wesleyan falls to 9-2 overall and 4-2 in conference action. Tufts has won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the teams dating back to 2008, with Wesleyan's victory during that span came in 2017.

With the Jumbos down 7-5 at the half, Adamec and the rest of the squad would out-score the Cardinals 12-3 in the second 30 minutes. Tufts junior Maddie Norman earned a free-position attempt less than two minutes into the second half, but was stopped by Wesleyan junior goalie Allegra Grant. After the save, Adamec came in and collected the rebound and buried a goal to cut the deficit to one (7-6). Jumbo senior Annie Sullivan then scored after the draw control to tie the game at 7-7. Cardinal senior Abigail Horst earned a free-position attempt less than a minute later and rifled a shot past Tufts first-year goalie Molly Laliberty to retake the lead for the visitors at 8-7.

Laliberty then made two huge saves on shots from sophomore Sydney Prokupek and Horst to keep the Jumbos only down a goal. Adamec scored the contest's next two goals off a free-position shot and from an assist by sophomore Catherine Lawliss for a 9-8 Jumbo lead. The Cardinals got the next one from their season-leading scorer Abby Manning to tie the game at 9-9 with 16:12 remaining. Lawliss and Adamec connected again with 13:16 on the clock to regain the lead for Tufts, but Wesleyan sophomore Johanna Copeland matched the Adamec goal to even the score once again (10-10).

The Jumbo defense led by seniors Hedy Veith and Maddy Schwartz then held the Cardinals scoreless over the final 12:40 of the game. That helped the offense score seven straight down the stretch. Lawliss again found a cutting Adamec to give the Jumbos an 11-10 advantage. Tufts junior Emily Games then earned a free-position attempt and buried it to put Tufts up by two goals (12-10). The next two Jumbo goals were scored by Norman and Adamec, with assists going to first-year Colette Smith and Games. Adamec then netted her eighth and final goal off a free-position shot to give the Jumbos a five-goal edge (15-10). Tufts senior Annie Sullivan and the Jumbos' season-leading scorer Smith added goals for the final 17-10 tally.

To open the game, both teams had quality looks on goal that couldn't find the back of the cage. Grant recorded saves on shots from Games, senior Courtney Grygiel, and first-year Kathryn Delaney to keep the game tied early on. The Cardinals' best chance in the first 10 minutes of action came when Manning came slashing in, but she was denied by senior goalie Audrey Evers. After both defenses forced a combined six turnovers within a 10-minute span, the Jumbos were able to strike first off a free-position goal from Games. Sullivan then earned a free-position attempt less than a minute later and put the Jumbos up 2-0.

After the Sullivan goal, the Cardinals responded by going on a 5-0 run over the next nine minutes to put them up 5-2. Manning started the Wesleyan run with a pair of goals less than a minute apart. Wesleyan junior Julia Gretsky then found space in the Jumbo defense and score the third Cardinal goal. Cardinal senior Caitlin Wood and Manning concluded the run with a goal apiece for a 5-2 Wesleyan lead. Grygiel put a stop to the Jumbo scoring drought with a goal after causing a Wesleyan turnover to get within two (5-3). Before the Grygiel goal, Grant and Laliberty each recorded saves on tough shots from the opponents.

Horst followed up the Grygiel goal with one of her own after a few Jumbo turnovers to retake a three-goal lead for the visitors (6-3). Lawliss (four assists) found Adamec for the first time in the game with 4:42 remaining in the half as the Jumbos closed within 6-4. Games and Wood then traded goals to conclude the first half as the Cardinals held a 7-5 lead.

In the decisive second half for the Jumbos, Tufts converted 3-4 free position shots to help them pull away late. The Jumbo defense also won the turnover battle 10 to six in the second half.

For the game, Tufts recorded 29 shots with 27 being on goal and Wesleyan had 25 shots with 21 going on goal. The Jumbos scooped up 19 ground balls to the Cardinals' 13. Both defenses were disruptive all day as there were a combined 37 turnovers in the game. Wesleyan won 20 draw controls to the Jumbos' nine. The game featured six lead changes and five ties.

Games and Sullivan also recorded hat tricks for the Jumbos. Smith and Norman each tallied a goal and an assist in the contest. Junior Lily Baldwin scooped up a game-high five ground balls and caused four turnovers. Norman won six draw controls. Laliberty ended the contest with eight saves in almost 45 minutes played.

Manning led the Cardinals offense with four goals and won a game-high seven draw controls. Wood and Horst also added a pair of goals for Wesleyan. Gretsky recorded a goal and an assist in the contest. Copeland scored the other Cardinal goal. Grant stopped 10 Jumbo shots in the game. Jordan Ansell caused three turnovers.

Tufts will return to Bello Field tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm when they host non-conference opponent Babson. Wesleyan's next game will be played on Tuesday when they travel to NESCAC foe Trinity with a 6 pm start time.


Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello