Coker pulls away in second half for 19-14 win over Tusculum

Coker pulls away in second half for 19-14 win over Tusculum

HARTSVILLE, S.C. --- Coker scored three goals in 66 seconds to break a second-half tie and defeat Tusculum 19-14 in South Atlantic Conference women's lacrosse action Saturday afternoon.

The Cobras (10-3, 5-1 SAC) received five goals and two assists from Marabeth Durden, four goals and three assists from Faith Kent and four goals from Haley McCusker in the win over the Pioneers (5-10, 3-4 SAC). Coker outscored Tusculum 11-7 in the second half after leading 8-7 at halftime.

Madison Malone scored a career-high five goals and added four assists to match her season high with nine points for the Pioneers, while Emily Gleason had four goals and Savannah Elliott scored three times. Tusculum erased an early 6-1 deficit to tie the game at 8-8 early in the second half, but the Cobras scored five of the next six goals over the next 10 minutes to go on top 13-9.

Kent scored three of her goals in the first 13 1/2 minutes as the Cobras went ahead 6-1 midway through the first half, but goals from Malone, Gleason and Elliott brought the Pioneers back within 6-4 with 14:18 left in the half. A goal from McCusker put the Cobras in front 8-5 with 8:42 left in the half, but the Pioneers scored the final two goals of the half from Malone and Rachel Holmes to cut the margin to 8-7 at intermission.

Malone scored her third goal of the game two minutes into the second half to tie the score at 8-8, but McCusker, Lindsay Ordemann and Durden scored in rapid succession to push the Cobras in front 11-8 with 24:37 left. A goal from ELliott would bring the Pioneers within 11-9 with 23:34 to go, but Bailey O'Brien and Kent scored 11 seconds apart as the Cobras went on top 14-10. Tusculum would get no closer than three goals the rest of the way, at 14-11 on a goal by Holmes with 12:33 to go and at 16-13 on a Gleason tally with 7:27 left.

Coker finished the game with a 35-23 advantage in shots over Tusculum, while both teams finished with 14 ground balls. Coker also had a slim 18-17 edge in draw controls, and the Pioneers had 16 turnovers to 13 by the Cobras.

Malone led the Pioneers with a career-best nine draw controls and also had a pair of ground balls. Brittany Lowery had a pair of caused turnovers to lead the Pioneer defense, which was credited with causing nine of the Cobras' 13 turnovers in the game.

Mackenzie Baker led the Cobras with five draw controls and a pair of ground balls, while Durden had three caused turnovers and two draw controls. Ordemann finished the game with four draw controls and three ground balls, and Claudia Jenkins had three draw controls to go along with a goal and three assists.

Brooke Wagner started in goal for the Pioneers and played just over 31 minutes, finishing with seven saves, while Kaitlin Winnie played the remaining 28 1/2 minutes and made three stops. Cassie Williams played all 60 minutes in goal for the Cobras and had eight saves.

Tusculum will step outside conference play on Thursday at Tennessee Wesleyan, with game time at 5 p.m.