Westminster Claims the RMWLL Championship

SALT LAKE CITY Westminster won the first conference championship in school history with two wins at the 2011 Rocky Mountain Women's Lacrosse League Championship Tournament that was held on Dumke Field on Saturday.

No. 1 seed Westminster defeated fourth-seeded Wyoming 17-10 in the semifinals and then defeated No. 2 seed Utah 15-14 in overtime to claim the championship. The RMWLL title comes in just the third year of the program's existence.

Utah gave the Griffins everything they could handle in the championship game. Neither team held more than a two goal advantage throughout the game. Utah got the scoring started with a goal from Laura Hunter just 10 second into the contest. Erin Foslid would respond for Westminster with a goal just 25 second later.

Trailing 3-1 at the 23:32 mark of the opening half, Westminster scored four straight to build a 5-3 cushion with 17:41 remaining. Sage Johnson scored all three of her goals in the game during the Griffin run. Utah then scored five of the final six goals of the half to carry an 8-6 lead into the intermission.

Westminster started the second half on fire. They got goals from Lindsey Mark, Chelsea Farrell, and Dechie Sumampong to open the half on a 3-0 run and build a 9-8 lead. The team would then alternate goals for the next 12 minutes to see the game deadlocked at 12-12 with 10:41 to play.

Mark and Farrell added back-to-back goals for the Griffins and they led 14-12 with 6:56 to play. Heather Hunter would strike for Utah with 3:01 remaining and then Hunter sent the game into overtime with her seventh goal of the night with just 22 seconds remaining in regulation.

Utah would manage the only shot if the first three-minute overtime session and the game would move to the second three-minute period still tied at 14. Mark would earn a free position shot with halfway through the period and put it in the net for the eventual game winner at the 1:30 mark. Regan Lelli made her 13th and final save of the night on a free position shot from Utah to seal the title for Westminster.

Mark led Westminster with six goals in the game. Farrell and Johnson had three goals and one assist each. Westminster held a 33-32 advantage in shots taken and collected 51 ground balls to just 25 by Utah. The draw control battle was a 22-10 edge for the Utes. Eight of Lelli's 13 saves came after intermission, including two in the final overtime period.

In the semifinal game against Wyoming, Westminster outshot the visitors 37-22 to go with a 39-19 advantage in ground balls. Farrell and Mark scored five goals apiece while Johnson added four goals and two assists. Lelli made eight stops to help the Griffins to the championship game.

The win doesn't clinch an automatic invite to the WCLA National Championships next month, but the top-ranked Griffins are expecting an invitation to the eight-team tournament when the field is announced next week.


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