HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Sophomore Spencer Waybright scored four goals in a strong first half to help lead the Stevens Institute of Technology women's lacrosse team to a 13-5 win over Bridgewater State University on Wednesday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Waybright and senior Leah Wasserman each finished with five points as the Ducks improve to 16-3 overall in what is their third-straight 16-win season.
After senior Courtney Lennon (Medfield, Mass.) put Bridgewater St. on top 6:07 into the contest, Stevens quickly responded with three tallies over a span of just 45 seconds to take a 3-1 lead with 22:45 left in the first half. Wasserman tallied the first, junior Jenna Scheibling the second, and Waybright scored the third as the first three Duck goals were assisted with two of the helpers going to Wasserman and one going to Waybright.
Stevens pushed the lead to 4-1 before Lennon tallied the second of her four first-half tallies to slow the Duck momentum but the Ducks went on another 4-0 run to push the lead to six at 8-2 with 17:10 left in the opening period. Waybright had two goals in the run while sophomore Joey Galligan and Wasserman accounted for the other Ducks goals in the spurt with Scheibling picking up a pair of assists.
The two teams traded markers over the final15:44 of the first with Lennon tallying the Bears' goals and junior Michelle Buonacuore and freshman Kara Rafferty scoring for Stevens.
The Ducks tallied on 10 of their 15 shot attempts in the first, and Bridgewater was 4-for-11. Each team scooped up seven ground balls and the Ducks won 11-of-15 draw controls and sophomore goalkeeper Meg Collins made four saves.
The Ducks outscored the Bears 3-1 in a low-scoring second half and cruised to the win. Senior Pamela Loria, senior Christine Smith and Wasserman had the Stevens tallies over the final 30 minutes as the Ducks' defense flexed its muscle for a third consecutive outing.
Junior Ashley Carey had two caused turnovers, one draw, and one ground ball. Senior Kate Cox had a game-high three caused turnovers, one ground ball, and one draw control, while Smith tallied two CT's. Sophomore Teegan Kelly, Collins, junior Lindsay Daly, and Smith all had multiple ground balls with the Ducks ending the game with a 17-15 edge in that category.
Stevens ended with a 28-18 advantage in shots and Collins finished with nine stops in goal to earn her second win in as many outings. The Ducks finished the contest winning 12-of-20 draws as well.
Waybright and Wasserman each had five points on the afternoon with Waybright scoring four goals and tallying one assists and Wasserman finding net three times and handing out two helpers. Scheibling had a goal and three assists with Buonacuore and Smith each tallying one of each. Smith also had a game-high eight draw controls and now has 79 on the season.
Lennon led BSU (17-2) with four goals and senior goalie Katie Weber (Arlington, Mass.) had seven saves in the loss. Senior defender Bethany Bush (Littleton, Mass.) notched three ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers, while classmate Erin Quimby (Chelmsford, Mass.) added two ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Stevens will now advance to the second round of the Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship for the second time in as many years. Last year the Ducks defeated Montclair State University in the first round before falling to Trinity College in round two, and this season Stevens will head to Trinity for its next NCAA contest against the winner of Babson College and Bowdoin College. Saturday's game will start at approximately 2:30 p.m.