Cardinals Fall to Lakers But End with Best-Ever Record

WHEELING, W.Va. Wheeling Jesuit dropped its final game of the regular season 5-17 to the GLIAC's No. 1 ranked Grand Valley on Senior Day at James LaRosa Stadium.

The Cardinals finish the regular season at 9-7, their best finish in the program's three-year history. Since their inception, the Cardinals have improved from a 2-10 finish in 2012, to 5-12 in 2013, finishing with their first winning season at 9-7 in 2014.

The Cardinal's reward for the improved performance is to host the first round of the GLIAC playoffs on Tuesday.

"I'm very happy with the results this year, and now it's time to see if they can take that next step and get a playoff win," said 3rd year head coach Tim Florence. "The commitment the girls have shown over the years has been impressive. Everyone from our seniors to this year's freshman has bought in to improving."

Against Grand Valley, the Cardinals suffered a slow start, falling behind 8-0 before standout sophomore Jessie Tufnell put WJU on the board with four minutes left in the first half.

The Cardinals defense strengthened in the second half, stemming the flow of Laker goals to nine, while the attack put in four more goals.

Tufnell was responsible for three of the Cardinals' five goals, taking four shots and picking up a ground ball as well. Also getting on the board for WJU were Paige Plesich and Elizabeth Hales, who had one apiece.

Freshman goalkeeper Maire Austin was solid defensively against a relentless Laker attack, picking up 16 saves on 36 shots.

The Cards return to action on Tuesday on Bishop Schmitt Field in the first round of the GLIAC playoffs. Their likely opponent will be Findlay, a team WJU defeated in the regular season in a 16-15, come from behind victory on home soil. Exact time and opponent details will be released by the conference in the coming day.


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