BURLINGTON, N.C. – A stingy defense and opportunistic offense did the job as Queens (10-9, 5-2 CC) pulled off the upset of No. 6 Pfeiffer (14-2, 5-1 CC) with a 12-11 victory in the semifinals of the 2013 Conference Carolinas Women’s Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday, April 20 at Williams Stadium in Burlington, N.C. The Royals advance to the championship game on Sunday, April 21 where they will face No. 2 Limestone while the Lady Falcons will now have to wait on a potential NCAA tournament bid as Saturday’s loss will put a dent in their chances.
Jena Ready led the way for Queens with four goals and an assist while Brittany Barnwell had four scores, eight groundballs and five draw controls. Arika Zimmerman finished with three goals and Nicole Forgione had the only other Royals score. Danielle Horoschak played all 60 minutes in net, allowing 11 goals and making 11 saves to pick up the win.
A mismatch on paper was anything but on the field as No. 6 Pfeiffer only managed three goals over the first 14 minutes and then saw third seeded Queens rally with back-to-back goals by Arika Zimmerman and Brittany Barnwell to cut it to 3-2 with 11:02 on the clock. The Falcons then responded with consecutive scores of their own, a free position by Ashleigh Kassab and Shannon Bonnel goal off a pass from Sarah Daly.
That burst put them back ahead at 5-2 and threatened to open up the game but the Royals Jena Ready would have none of it as she scored back-to-back goals at 8:16 and 7:08 to pull back to within 5-4. Kassab notched another at 6:04 to put it back to a two goal lead.
That margin would not last as Queens responded with a goal by Barnwell off a pass from Ready at 2:53 and then drilled home the equalizer off a shot from Nicole Forgione with 1:24 left. That 6-6 deadlock is what the teams would take to the locker room.
The second half would be much the same way as Kassab opened with a goal for Pfeiffer, giving them back the lead at 7-6, before the Royals answered with consecutive scores by Ready and Zimmerman to pull ahead 8-7 by the 19:29 mark. Pfeiffer’s Katherine Athens answered with a goal 37 seconds later to tie it but Queens would not go away.
Following that score Zimmerman and Barnwell converted five seconds apart to take a 10-8 advantage with 14:08 remaining. It would be Pfeiffer’s turn to answer as Conference Carolinas Co-Player of the Year Shannon Bonnel scored on a free position attempt and Kristina Anderson tied it at 10-10 with an unassisted score at 11:08.
With 7:47 on the clock, Ready struck again off a pass from Caitlin Miller to give the Royals back the lead before Barnwell made it a two-goal margin as she took it herself at 4:53. Queens would buckle down on defense and kill the clock before allowing the Falcons one more scoring opportunity. That would come with just two seconds left on the clock as Daly converted on an unassisted score to reach the final margin of 12-11, giving the Royals the upset victory over No. 6 Pfeiffer.
Bonnel led the way for the Falcons with three goals and four groundballs and Kassab finished with three scores. Daly added a pair of scores and an assist and Cassidy Wilson played 24:13 in goal, allowing seven goals and making three saves to take the loss.