INDIANAPOLIS >> West Chester’s thrilling ride toward an undefeated lacrosse season and a national title came up one win shy on Sunday at the 2023 NCAA Division III National Championship Game Sunday at Key Stadium on the campus of the University of Indianapolis.
Pace University (N.Y.) scored 10 goals in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 19-9 victory. The Setters (21-2 overall) blitzed WCU (22-1) with eight straight goals to open the game before the Golden Rams could even get off a shot.
West Chester had only two possessions in the first 12 minutes of the contest and both ended in unforced turnovers. Pace won the first 10 draw controls of the clash.
Senior goaltender Jess Gorr (Bishop Shanahan) did what she could to keep West Chester in the game, but it was nowhere near enough to halt the Setter’s momentum. Gorr made five saves during Pace’s opening run and finished the outing with 10 saves.
West Chester mustered just two shots and committed six turnovers in the first 15 minutes and that took the Rams out of the game. Sophomore Keri Barnett ended the 13-goal run by Pace in the second quarter with an individual effort at 7:53. Lindsay Monigle made it back-to-back tallies at the 5:42 mark, before Pace added a pair right before halftime to take a 15-2 advantage into the locker room.
West Chester mounted its comeback in the fourth quarter, getting the margin under 10 and stopping the running clock. The Rams scored five straight times in the second half to get within eight at 15-7. But, Pace scored its first goal of the second half at 11:16 to stop the bleeding.
Junior Hannah Stanislawczyk cut the deficit in half with 10:17 left to continue her goal-scoring streak and push it to 45 straight. She finished with two goals in the game.
Monigle led West Chester with three goals and three assists. She concludes her stellar career with 299 career points, which is sixth all-time at the school.
NOTES: West Chester was playing in its 11th Division II national championship game and falls to 2-9 all-time in that game … the 11 appearances in the title game breaks a tie with Adelphi (N.Y.) for the most championship game appearances … West Chester’s 22 wins on the year tied the NCAA Division II record for most in a single season … the 18 goals allowed are the most by a team in an NCAA Tournament game … the nine goals scored by the Golden Rams was the lowest total of the season … West Chester’s Stanislawczyk, Monigle and Gillian Peters were named to the All-Tournament Team following the game.