Four straight goals lift Pfeiffer past Tusculum, 12-10

Four straight goals lift Pfeiffer past Tusculum, 12-10

MISENHEIMER, N.C. --- A four-goal surge midway through the second half propelled Pfeiffer University to a 12-10 win over Tusculum College in non-conference women's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon.

Ally Unkenholz scored three of her four goals in the first half for the Falcons (3-0), who trailed 7-6 early in the second half before scoring four unanswered goals in a span of 12 minutes, 12 seconds to take a 10-7 lead.

Rachel Holmes had a game-high five goals for the Pioneers (2-2), including back-to-back goals in the final eight minutes to bring the Pioneers within 11-10. However, Molly O'Friel scored an insurance goal for the Falcons with 1:06 left and Pfeiffer was able to run out the clock to finish off its third straight victory.

The Falcons took a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Kylie Lode and Meagan Bourque just 10 seconds apart in the first minute and a half, and the Pioneers got on the board on a goal from Juliette Cusano with 20:40 to go in the half. Unkenholz scored the next three goals for Pfeiffer, answered in turn by Bailey Lowery, Holmes and Holmes again as Pfeiffer led 5-4 with 8:28 left in the half.

Tusculum tied the score at 5-5 on a goal by Brittany Lowery with 8:06 to go in the half, but O'Friel restored Pfeiffer's lead at 6-5 with 6:56 remaining. Calyn Kelly equalized the contest at 6-6 heading into halftime as she scored with just 14 seconds left in the half.

The Pioneers took their only lead of the game at 7-6 on a free-position goal by Holmes with 25:15 left, but Bourque scored twice and Lode and Unkenholz tallied during the Falcons' run that gave them a 10-7 lead with 12:10 left. Madison Malone responded with 9:27 left to pull the Pioneers within 10-8, but O'Friel answered just over a minute later to put Pfeiffer back up by three.

Holmes then scored with 7:53 left and again with 5:17 to go to pull the Pioneers within one, but Tusculum had just one shot attempt the rest of the afternoon which went off the post on a shot by Hayley Bartlett with 1:51 remaining.

Malone finished with a goal and four assists for the Pioneers along with four ground balls and four draw controls. Holmes had three ground balls and two draw controls, while Cusano had five draw controls to lead the Pioneers.

O'Friel tallied three goals and two assists to go along with five ground balls, four draw controls and four caused turnovers for the Falcons. Lode added two goals and an assist and Bourque registered three goals in the victory. Unkenholz also had three draw controls while Josie Lent matched Cusano for the game high with five draw controls for the Falcons.

Brooke Wagner played all 60 minutes in goal for the Pioneers and had 12 saves, while Emily James finished with eight saves in goal for the Falcons.

Tusculum will open its South Atlantic Conference schedule on Wednesday night against Brevard at 6 p.m. at Pioneer Field.