WHEELING, W.Va. – In just the second year of women’s lacrosse in Mountain East Conference, the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals claimed the Mountain East Conference regular season title on Sunday afternoon. WJU flew past Charleston, 21-2, on the Cardinals senior day.
WJU (11-5, 6-0 MEC) completes the regular season undefeated in conference play, and will host the 2016 MEC women’s lacrosse tournament on Friday, April 29 and Sunday, May 1. The tournament will be played on Bishop Schmitt field, on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit, and will feature the top-four seeds in the conference.
Jessie Tufnell did not disappoint during her final regular season home match. The senior scored four goals and dished out three assists, bringing her career point total to 282. Six of Tufnell’s seven points came in the first period of play.
Fellow senior Kassidy Forsen was honored prior to the game. Forsen appeared in nine games as a freshman, scoring two goals and handing out four assists. Injuries during her sophomore and junior season have kept her from the playing field.
Head coach Tim Florence has led the Cardinals on a steady rise up the ranks. WJU’s previous record for wins in a season was nine, coming in 2014. A year ago, the Cardinals finished MEC play at 4-1.
Tufnell opened the scoring for WJU with a goal less than two minutes into the action. Olivia Krock and Taylor Booth followed with scores, giving WJU a 3-0 lead. Charleston added a score, and WJU led 3-1 with 25:19 remaining.
WJU would tally the next 18 scores, as the Cardinals led 21-1 with 8:41 remaining in the game. Tufnell and Elizabeth Hales each contributed three of the 18 goals, while Markie Wright scored twice.
Brianna Wahle, Kate Calder, Mia Gilardi, Kori Hickman, Ally Coggins, Plaige Plesich, Taelor Mailoux, Mary Burns, Holly Deckert and Lyndsay Carpenter all added a goal to the Cardinals total.
Charleston would add a late goal, but the Cardinals would prevail, 21-2, on Senior Day.
Hickman handed out five assists and secured two draw controls. Hales added a trio of assists, totaling a six-point outing. Plesich and Burns each assisted on one Cardinals score, and Burns finished with a game-high four draw controls.
Deckert picked up a team-best four groundballs and caused one turnover. Tufnell and Booth both secured three groundballs, while Carpenter added two. Taylor Quigg won one draw control. Maire Austin saved two shots.
The Cardinals will play the number four seed, which will be determined in the next week, in the MEC Semifinals on Friday, April 29.