WJU Drops Heartbreaker to Findlay in GLIAC Quarterfinals

WHEELING, W.Va. Wheeling Jesuit 's best season in program history came to a premature close on Tuesday, with a 13-14 loss to Findlay in the GLIAC quarterfinals.

The Cardinals finish the season with a 9-8 overall record, while going 5-3 in GLIAC conference play. The season record earned WJU the right to host the quarterfinal, which saw Findlay take the come-from-behind victory.

From the opening draw, it looked as though WJU would take the game in a walk away. The Cardinals jumped out to a 6-1 lead with sophomore captain Jessie Tufnell catching fire to score six unanswered goals.

Findlay managed to score four more times in the opening half, but Tufnell and the Cardinals looked determined to put the Oilers away, taking a 9-5 lead into the halftime break.

The Cardinals continued their hot streak in the 2nd half, with Elizabeth Hales and Olivia Krock scoring goals in the first minute of the period, giving WJU a six-point, 11-5 lead.

The tide then turned dramatically in the game. Findlay put all the momentum in their court by rattling off five straight goals of their own to bring them within one of tying the game.

Frustrations mounted for WJU as senior Sarah Fitzsimon was shown her second yellow card on the day, and the Cards were forced to soldier on without one of their team leaders for the rest of the game.

With the momentum shift complete, the Cardindals had to fight tooth and nail to keep their lead. Paige Plesich and Danielle Kriby each scored to put some distance between them and Findlay, but the Oilers scored four of the last five goals to seal the 13-14 victory.

Tufnell was outstanding for the Cards, leading all scorers with seven goals on the night on seven shots. Tufnell also picked up 5 ground balls, caused one turnover, and went 2-2 on free position attempts. Paige Plesich added three goals for the cards as well.

The loss concludes the season for WJU.

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Findlay pulled out a 14-13 road win over Wheeling Jesuit on April 29 to advance to the semifinals of the 2014 GLIAC tournament.

The Oilers fell behind by a score of 9-5 at the half and looked as though they wouldn't make it through the quarterfinal round when the Cardinals scored the first two goals of the second half. The Oilers then answered with five straight goals in the next ten minutes to cut the lead to one at 11-10.

After a goal by each team, sophomore Mackenzie Barnwell tied the game at 12-12 when she scored unassisted at the 15:29 mark. Wheeling Jesuit then answered back three minutes later, but sophomore Sarah Lankton scored two consecutive goals to give Findlay a 14-13 lead.

Leading by one with 7:46 to play, the Oilers defense stood strong and sophomore Katie Poorman came up with a late save with only seconds remaining to preserve the win.

Barnwell had a huge game for Findlay with five goals while freshman Nicole Stines scored four goals, won 13 draw controls and added five ground balls.

Lankton added three goals, five draw controls and six groundballs for the Oilers as well.

Poorman faced 23 shots in the game and made ten saves in the win.

The Oilers, who are now 8-10 on the season, will travel to Allendale, Mich. to take on top-seeded Grand Valley State University in the semifinals on Friday. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.


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