NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament: USC advances to 2nd round; CU falls to UMass

USC is on to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Tournament, while Colorado has bowed out after first-round action completed across the country Friday.

NCAA First Round: USC 13, Jacksonville 10

USC

Buoyed by its free-position prowess and strong first-half defense, USC held off a pesky Jacksonville squad 13-10 Friday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla. With the win, the seventh-ranked Trojans advance to the round of 16 to face third-seeded Florida.

Two-time MPSF Player of the Year Michaela Michael lived up to her accolades, amassing four goals, three assists and a whopping 10 draw controls in the win. Kylie Drexel chipped in with three goals and three assists, while Cynthia Del Core and Kaeli Huff each had hat tricks.

USC stormed out to a 4-1 lead after converting all of its first four free-position shots and went on a 7-0 run to take an 8-1 lead. The Trojans, second in the nation in scoring defense, held the Dolphins scorless for a stretch of nearly 23 minutes before taking a 10-3 lead into halftime.

Jacksonville hung tough in the second half, going on a mini 4-1 spurt to get within 11-7 with 10:44 remaining. USC answered right back on the next possession, with Michael winning the draw and eventually feeding Drexel for her third goal of the game to give the Trojans a five-tally cushion. Michael tacked on one more with 4:14 remaining to put USC ahead 13-7, but Jacksonville would make one last stand, scoring the last three goals of the game, inching within three in the final 90 seconds. However, USC won the ensuing draw and bled out the clock.

USC was a perfect 22-22 on clears and held a 15-10 advantage in draw controls. First team All-MPSF goalkeeper Gussie Johns made seven saves in the net for the Trojans, while Jacksonville attacker Danielle Della Rocca led the Dolphins with five points on three goals and two assists.

The Trojans have advanced to the second round for the third year in a row and have won at least one game in the NCAA tournament all three years they have made the postseason.

NCAA First Round: UMass 13, Colorado 7

Colorado

The Buffs' banner year came to a conclusion Friday night in Philadelphia as UMass defeated Colorado 13-7. The Buffs held the lead for much of the first half before the Minutewomen surged ahead late in the opening frame and built upon their edge in the second.

Up by one or two goals most of the first half, Colorado took a 5-3 lead with 12:47 remaining in the first half after Katie Macleay's 40th goal of the season. However, UMass answered back by ending the half on a 3-0 run to take a 6-5 lead heading into the locker room. Colorado quickly leveled the score thanks to a Darby Kiernan free-position goal less than three minutes into the second half, but the Minutewomen went on a 5-0 run and kept the Buffaloes scoreless for nearly 16 minutes to put the game out of reach.

The Buffs had trouble containing A-10 Offensive Player of the Year Holly Turner, who went for four goals and two assists. Kiernan and Macleay each had a hat trick for Colorado, while Buffs netminder Paige Soensken stopped eight shots in cage.

The 10th-ranked Buffs wrap up the 2017 season with a 16-4 record and their first NCAA appearance in just their fourth season. Hats off to MPSF Coach of the Year Ann Elliott and the work she has done in Boulder.

This was the second meeting of the season between UMass and Colorado, with the Buffs winning 11-7 in Florida in February. Revenge exacted, the Minutewomen advance to the round of 16 to take on Navy Sunday.

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