ADRIAN, Mich. - The first ever NCAA Tournament home game in school history ended in heartbreak for the women's lacrosse team as they fell 11-10 in overtime to Denison University on Wednesday evening from Performance Stadium. The game was nip-and-tuck throughout as neither team led by more than two goals in the contest.
Denison was looking for revenge after losing 11-9 at home to the Bulldogs earlier this season. Adrian came into the game 2-0 all-time against the Big Reds. Olivia Duncan opened the scoring at 21:36 of the first half with an assist from Rachel Johnston. Molly Chapman and Molly Sbrega scored back-to-back goals both assisted by Lauren Adams to give DU a 2-1 lead.
Stacey Birlson's 28th goal of the season at 17:11 tied the game up at 2-2. Adams scored her first goal of the game at 7:08 to give DU a 3-2 advantage. Sbrega increased the lead to 4-2 at the 6:36 mark on a man-up goal after Laura VonderHaar received a yellow card at 7:08. Johnston's 41st goal of the season and 282nd of his career made it 4-3 at the 2:14 mark. Sbrega ended the first half with a hat trick with 1:08 left for her 41st goal of the year unassisted.
Adrian scored the first two goals of the second half as Lambert notched her 46th and 47th goals of the season just 33 seconds apart. Chapman gave Denison the lead again at 6-5 at the 23:55 mark from Erin Keller. Duncan scored at the 20:00 mark unassisted to tie the game up at 6-6. Adrian looked to be in control going ahead 8-6 with 17:04 remaining in regulation as Lambert and Lindsey Day each scored tough goals unassisted.
Adams came right back for the Big Reds at the 14:10 mark to cut the lead down to 8-7. Meghan Reynolds scored on a behind-the-back shot from Lambert with 11:26 left to give Adrian a two-goal lead at 9-7. Carly Tschantz cut the lead down to one with her eighth goal of the season with an assist from Chapman at the 8:38 mark. Day's second goal of the half made it another two-goal edge by the Bulldogs at 10-8 with 4:17 to play.
Tschantz scored on a free-position shot with 3:40 to go in the second half on a man-up goal. Adrian then attempted to play keep away with the ball in their possession during the last minute of the game. The move backfired however as Chapman scored with four seconds left after a turnover by Lambert as Adams assisted on the goal to tie the game at 10-10 and send it into overtime.
The teams played a six-minute overtime period in three-minute segments and Denison scored the only goal coming with 45 seconds left in the first segment. Sbrega's fourth goal of the evening was assisted by Alex Thurner and sent the Big Reds into the next round of the NCAA Tournament.
Adrian's season ends at 17-3 overall. The shots were 25-24 in favor of Denison while the turnovers were 15-14 in favor of Denison as well. Each team's goaltender made 11 saves. Denison had a sizable advantage in draw controls winning 17-of-23 for the game. Lambert's five points led the team and she graduates with 337 in her career. Day's two goals leaves her with 168 career goals. Laura Finfrock led Adrian with six ground balls and finishes her career with 317 saves in net.