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| May 04, 2022

Higher Seeds Dominate on Opening Day at WCLA D-I Championship

By Paul Ohanian | Photo by Lance Wendt

Round Rock, Texas – With just a couple of exceptions, the higher seeds mostly ruled the day in Wednesday’s first round of play at the 2022 USA Lacrosse WCLA Championship Tournament. 

The top two seeds, No. 1 Boston College Club and No. 2 Georgia, both advanced with relatively easy victories. BC’s Meghan Chase scored six goals and Katie Duttenhofer added five to keep the Eagles (13-0) undefeated with a 17-7 win over No. 16 Delaware Club.

Meanwhile, Georgia (19-0) rolled past No. 15 seed Washington, 18-7, with nine different players scoring goals, led by three from Savannah Sabol.

“We’ve had lots of different goal scorers throughout the season,” said UGA coach Maddie Katz. “We knew this team could be special after finishing undefeated in California at the start of the season. We’ve had high expectations all season and everyone has really stepped up.”

The only real upset on the day belonged to No. 12 Michigan Club, which ran its Texas winning streak to five games. The last time the WCLA Championship came to the Round Rock Sports Complex, in 2018, the Wolverines won four games in four days to capture their second national championship. 

On Wednesday, the Wolverines picked up where they left off four years ago, upsetting No. 5 seed Florida Club, 10-9, with Casey Reichwein scoring the game-winning goal with 9:37 remaining. But any carryover is strictly coincidental according to UM coach Dave McKinnon. 

“Almost 80-percent of this year’s team is new,” he said, “but getting a close game like this under our belt isn’t a bad thing. We learned today that this is a team that can persevere.”

Senior Anna Park led Michigan with three goals while her sister, sophomore goalie Sophie Park, finished with 15 saves.

The Wolverines will get a chance Thursday to further extend their Texas run with a matchup against No. 4 seed Virginia Tech Club, which dispatched 2019 champion Pittsburgh Club, 13-5. The Hokies built an 8-1 halftime lead and never trailed, with Wynston Archer and Maria Keener scoring four times each.

“We were very aggressive in our midfield transition today, and I thought we did a great job in controlling the 50-50 balls,” said Virginia Tech club president and defender Julia DeBrosse. “We’ve had a great season and we just want to keep it going.”

Another member of the Commonwealth, No. 3 seed Virginia Club, also advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinal round.  The Cavaliers built a 9-0 halftime lead against No. 14 Texas and finished with a 14-7 win. Four goals by Anna Turk, all in the first half, sparked the win, while Anna Makover and Maddie Brooks added three goals each. 

UVA faces another undefeated foe, No. 6 seed Arizona State Club, on Thursday. Making their first tournament appearance since 2005, the Sun Devils advanced with a 17-14 victory over No. 11 Clemson.

“This season has just been so much fun for all of us,” said ASU freshman Sienna Duffill, who scored a team-high six goals and was also named the national Rookie of the Year Award winner. “It really says something about the family atmosphere we’ve created here. I scored the goals today, but my teammates did such a great job of creating opportunities for me.”

In other games, No. 7 seed BYU defeated No. 10 Florida State, 13-9, behind four goals from both Sarah Palmer and Mallorie Van Woerkom, and eight saves by Anna Kreipl. And No. 9 seed UCLA got four goals from Sydney Riepl and three apiece from Katherine Larratt and Charlotte Hussey to beat No. 8 Utah, 14-7.

There’s potential rainstorms in the local forecast for Thursday, with consolation and winner’s bracket games scheduled to continue throughout the day as weather permits.

Thursday’s Division I Quarterfinal Schedule
(all games starting at 2 p.m. CT)

No. 1 Boston College Club (13-0) vs. No. 9 UCLA (11-3)
No. 2 Georgia (19-0) vs. No. 7 BYU (11-3)
No. 3 Virginia Club (8-0) vs. No. 6 Arizona State Club (14-0)
No. 4 Virginia Tech Club (12-2) vs. No. 12 Michigan Club (6-5)