NEWBERRY, S.C. --- Savannah Elliott scored three goals in the final 13 minutes to break a tie and boost Tusculum College to an 18-15 win over Newberry College in South Atlantic Conference women's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon.
Madison Malone assisted on all three of Elliott's goals and finished with four assists to become the first player in program history to surpass 100 career assists. Emily Gleason scored four goals and had an assist while Rachel Holmes and Hayley Bartlett finished with three goals and an assist apiece for the Pioneers (4-5, 2-0 SAC).
Rachel Dillon finished with five goals and an assist and Alexis Kahler had four goals and an assist for the Wolves (4-5, 0-2 SAC), who scored the first three goals of the match before Tusculum came back with five goals in 3 1/2 minutes to take the lead. Newberry led 9-8 at halftime and neither team led by more than one goal in the second half until the Pioneers scored twice in 51 seconds late in the match.
After Newberry went ahead 3-0 on goals from Maddie Campbell, Dillon and Helen Kuhn in the first 5 1/2 minutes, Tusculum answered with five consecutive goals over a span of 3 minutes, 31 seconds. Bartlett, Gleason, Calyn Kelly, Claire Stanton and Bartlett again scored the goals as the Pioneers went on top 5-3 with 20:14 left in the first half.
Newberry came back with consecutive goals from Kahler to tie the score at 5-5, and Campbell and Naomi Killian extended the Wolves' lead to 7-5 with 12:23 left in the first half. Tusculum came back on goals from Juliette Cusano and Bartlett 26 seconds apart to tie the game at 7-7, but two goals in 12 seconds from Kahler and Killian restored the Wolves' two-goal edge. Holmes scored with four seconds to go in the half as the Pioneers went to intermission trailing 9-8.
In the second half, Holmes tied the score at 9-9 with 28:39 left before Dillon put the Wolves back in front 10-9 with 24:27 to play. Sierra Haas and Gleason scored back-to-back to put the Pioneers back in front 11-10 with 20:43 left, and the teams would alternate the next seven goals to leave the score tied 14-14 with 13:38 remaining.
Elliott's first goal of the day came with 12:58 left and would give Tusculum the lead for good at 15-14, and she added her second goal exactly three minutes later for a 16-14 Pioneer edge. Kahler's fourth goal of the game brought the Wolves within 16-15 with 6:47 left, but that would be their final goal of the day as Holmes and Elliott gave the Pioneers insurance tallies in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
Malone, the program's career leader in points with 156, increased her career assist total to 103 with her four assists on the afternoon. With her three goals, Elliott boosted her career total to 97 and moved within three of becoming the second player in program history with 100 career tallies.
Holmes led the Pioneers with five ground balls, while Kelly had four ground balls and four draw controls. Malone added a team-high five draw controls and three ground balls, with Cusano adding three draw controls for the Pioneers. As a team, Tusculum had 20 draw controls in the match to 15 by Newberry.
The teams were nearly equal in several other statistical categories, with Tusculum outshooting Newberry 33-31 and the Wolves picking up 30 ground balls to 28 by the Pioneers. Tusculum had 24 turnovers as a team while Newberry had 20, while the Pioneers were 3-for-5 on free-position shots and the Wolves went 0-for-2.
Campbell had two goals and two assists for the Wolves, and finished with team highs of seven draw controls, three caused turnovers and six ground balls. Kuhn had five draw controls and six different players finished with three ground balls apiece for Newberry.
Three players saw time in goal for the Pioneers in the match, with Brooke Wagner playing a total of 36 minutes, 47 seconds in two stints and finishing with nine saves. Kaele Lawless and Kaitlin Winnie each played in goal in the second half for the Pioneers, with Winnie making three saves and Lawless one. Brandy Bowman played all 60 minutes for the Wolves and had 11 stops.
Tusculum will be on the road next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lenoir-Rhyne University for a SAC matchup with the Bears.