The Slippery Rock University women’s lacrosse team saw its season come to an end with an 18-13 loss to Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference action from Dick’s Sporting Goods Field.
Slippery Rock finishes the season with a 9-8 overall record and a 5-7 mark in PSAC play. It marks the fifth time in the last six years the team has finished with a .500 or better record and marks the second straight year with a 9-8 record. Seton Hill improves to 8-9 overall and 7-5 in PSAC play and clinches a berth in the PSAC playoffs with the victory.
Seniors Erin Wilcox and Kaytlin Callaghan, two of the top offensive players in program history, saw their SRU career come to an end on Tuesday night.
Wilcox finished with four goals to give her 52 goals on the season, making her the second player in program history to record two 50-goal seasons in one career. Callaghan finished with two goals and one assist to give her 21 assists on the season, making her the second player in program history to record two seasons with at least 20 assists.
“It will be a challenge losing Erin and Kayt (Callaghan). They have played a huge role in our program’s success over the last four years on both sides of the ball and will be deeply missed,” head coach Emily Hopkins said. “They mean so much to this program and we wish them the best of luck in the future.”
Callaghan finishes her career as the second-leading scorer in program history with 187 points, while Wilcox ranks sixth with 150 points.
Wilcox is the fourth leading goal scorer in school history with 140 goals and Callaghan ranks fifth with 126. Callaghan also ranks second in SRU history in assists with 61, while Wilcox also ranks second in draw controls with 183.
Wilcox scored at least one goal in every game of her final season and scored at least a hat-trick in 11-of-17 games. She scored multiple goals in all but one game on the year and her 52 goals are the fourth most recorded in a single-season in school history.
“She (Wilcox) has worked really hard over her four years to be a scoring threat. She knows when to cut and catch almost anything,” Hopkins said.
Senior goalkeeper Jordan Wagner also ended her career Tuesday, making nine saves in total.
She leaves SRU ranked second in career saves with 362. Senior Taylor Balbierz subbed in for Wagner with 17:20 to play and made three saves to finish the game.
The two teams traded goals early in the game until the score was 4-4 with 16:48 to play in the first half. From there, Seton Hill scored five unanswered goals and closed the half on a 17-2 run to lead 11-6 at the break.
Seton Hill pushed the gap to 13-6 with 26:54 to play before The Rock began to mount a comeback. SRU went on a 6-3 run over the next 15 minutes to cut the deficit to 16-12 with 11:24 to play, but Seton Hill closed out the victory with a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes.
“We felt like we had a chance to comeback throughout the game. We have been able to battle back against some of the best teams in the nation,” Hopkins said.
Seton Hill finished the game with advantages of 40-26 in shots, 22-11 in draw controls and 13-11 in ground balls. The Griffins were 14-of-16 on clear attempts, while Slippery Rock was 17-of-21 on the clear.
Sophomore Tia Torchia chipped in two goals and grabbed a team-high four draw controls and senior Anna-Marie Warrington capped the multiple point-scorers with one goal and one assist.
Freshmen Jordan Chan and Kelly Muenster, junior Chynna Chan and senior Jessica Johnson each tallied one goal to round out the point-scorers for SRU.
Seton Hill was led by Emily Fagan with six goals and three assists. Renee Kania added three goals and two assists and Keagan Pontious chipped in three goals and one assist.
Slippery Rock will return eight of the top 11 point-scorers next year.
“We are very hopeful for next year. We have done a great job growing as a team this year and are also bringing in a great recruiting class,” Hopkins said. “I am excited to see us finish those close games with wins next year.”