#16 Elizabethtown Falls to #12 Messiah in MAC Final

GRANTHAM, Pa. - No. 16 Elizabethtown found itself in an early hole and was never able to recover as the No. 12 Messiah Falcons captured a 16-6 win in Saturday's Middle Atlantic Conference Finals in Grantham, Pa.

The second-seeded Blue Jays (16-4) had to play catch-up after the top-seeded Falcons (17-1) scored the game's first five goals.

E-town got on the board with a Meg Cassels (Downingtown, Pa./Great Valley) free position goal with 10:20 on the clock to trim the Falcons' lead down to 5-1.

In the final eight minutes of the first half, however, Messiah found the back of the net on three occasions to give the Falcons an 8-1 advantage heading into halftime.

Kara Solesky (Parkville, Md./Mercy) scored the first goal of the second half with 4:30 gone to put the Blue Jays' deficit at six.

The Falcons responded with two goals from Lizzy Keeney, who ended up with a game-high five tallies on the day. Six minutes later, it was E-town's turn for back-to-back goals. Becky Porter (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) scored off an assist from Sarah Cullinan (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East), and Katie Scheurich (Lancaster, Pa./Conestoga Valley) followed up with a goal of her own with 16:04 left to make the score 10-4 in favor of Messiah.

Over the next five minutes, the Falcons added four more goals to take a 14-4 lead with 10:48 on the second half clock.

In the closing minutes, Scheurich tacked on her second of the game and Emily Butler (Finksburg, Md./Mount de Sales Academy) recorded her first goal of the contest, but the Falcons scored two more to take the 16-6 win and secure the MAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Messiah's Kara Geiman registered two goals and two assists to take home the tournament's most valuable player award. Four players had two-goal games for the Falcons, who outshot the Jays by a 36-17 margin.

E-town's Rachael Waldman (Belmar, N.J./Academy of Allied Health & Science) picked up 10 saves in goal, while on the other side Taylor Phillips had nine stops.

Alexis Morris (Whiteford, Md./North Harford) corralled a team-high four ground balls on defense for the visitors, who finished with a team total of 18 on the day.

The Blue Jays, currently ranked sixth in the Metro region, will await tomorrow night's decision as the NCAA announces the field for the upcoming Division III Tournament.


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