Morris Stones Messiah in Goal as Lebanon Valley Prevails

ANNVILLE, Pa. - Sophomore Shelby Morris was a brick wall in the cage as Lebanon Valley defeated Messiah on Saturday afternoon, 11-8.

Morris made 14 saves on the day to continue her excellent year. After appearing in just four games last season, the sophomore boasts an 8.20 goals-against average and a .435 save percentage on the year, averaging 6.4 saves per game.

The win is the program's first-ever victory over Messiah and had an added personal touch for head coach Jackie Dando, who graduated from Messiah in 2009. The Dutchmen remain undefeated in conference play with a record of 3-0 and move to 9-2 on the year overall.

Additionally, Saturday's game marked the second annual LAX4LIFE game at Arnold Field. LAX4LIFE is a national lacrosse campaign to provide and support programs geared toward adolescent and young adult suicide prevention and awareness. The Valley wore special orange LAX4LIFE t-shirts during pregame warm-ups and those shirts, along with seat cushions were sold with all proceeds going to support the cause.

The game was a fight all-afternoon long as both teams made their runs. The Valley jumped out to 4-1 lead early as senior Mel Modrick found the back of the net twice. A pair of comeback goals from Messiah were answered on a free-position tally from junior Anna Pagels with 10 seconds to play in the half, moving the game into the break with the Valley up, 5-3.

Out of the locker room, the Falcons were determined to tie it up and did so as Messiah's Brooke Gamble notched both markers to knot the game at five apiece with 24:07 remaining. LVC countered with goals from Pagels and sophomore Sam Boyce, but the Falcons responded again to make it 7-6 with 16:26 on the clock. Then, the Dutchmen took over.

Four straight from LVC's Modrick, senior Taylor Kruter, Boyce, and junior Jenny Simensky opened up a five-goal lead with just five minutes remaining and, although two Messiah goals made it interesting late, the Valley closed it out with an 11-8 score at the final buzzer.

Modrick led five Dutchmen with multiple points on the day as she picked up the hat trick with three goals. Pagels added two goals and two assists and Boyce chipped in with two goals of her own, while sophomore Tori Kuntz recorded a goal and an assist and junior Bailey Benz picked up two assists.

The draw-control battle was huge for LVC in the second-half as the Dutchmen flipped the script. Messiah led the draws, 7-2, going into the break, but the Valley won 9 of 12 draws in the second, allowing the Blue and White to keep possession and run time off the clock.

Messiah led the way in shots, 25-23, and ground balls, 25-22. The LVC ride was excellent as Messiah converted on just 10 of its 18 clear attempts and the Dutchmen put in three of their four free-position chances.

LVC hits the road on Wednesday attempting to keep its unbeaten conference streak alive at Alvernia at 4:00 p.m.

2014-03-29



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