Detroit Visits as Bearcats Look for Fifth-Straight Win

March 22, 2014

Preview

Cincinnati Bearcats
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Detroit Titans
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THE GAME: The University of Cincinnati women’s lacrosse team looks to win its fifth-straight game on Sunday, March 23, when the University of Detroit Mercy visits Gettler Stadium for a Noon showdown.

THE SERIES: Cincinnati and Detroit will be meeting for the sixth time, with UC holding a 4-1 advantage in the series. The teams have met every year since 2009, when the Bearcats took a 15-6 win. The lone Detroit win came in 2012, when the Titans took a 14-11 home victory. Last season, UC won 16-6 at Sheakley Athletics Center.

SCOUTING THE TITANS: Detroit carries a 1-6 mark into Cincinnati, with the most recent contest a 13-4 setback to Duquesne. Kylie Birney is the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals and an assist. Tessa Keuler has registered 12 points (five goals, seven assists) and Kelsi Pritchard has posted 11 points (seven goals, four assists). Morgan Miller leads the team in both caused turnovers (nine) and ground balls (15). Ally Shrader has added seven caused turnovers and 14 ground balls. Lexie McCormick has started all seven games for Detroit. She’s posted a .456 save percentage and a 13.51 goals against average en route to a 1-6 record.

LAST GAME: The University of Cincinnati lacrosse team found the back of the cage nine times in the second half en route to a 14-5 victory over Iona on a chilly Sunday at Gettler Stadium. It took a while for the Bearcats (5-3) to heat up, but they turned a 5-3 halftime lead into a 14-5 victory behind four goals from Courtney Curtis (Mason, Ohio/William Mason) and hat tricks from Michelle Platz (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Ursula) and Sarah Del Bene (Timonium, Md./Dulaney). UC also got two goals from Dani Tunnell (Frederick, Md./Oakdale), a goal and two assists from Ashley Helmrath (Ellicott City, Md./Maryvale Prep), a goal from Taylor Young (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) and two assists from Torrie Zarella (Great Falls, Va./Langley). Coming off a four-goal performance in Friday’s win over Coastal Carolina, Curtis got things started off with the first goal of the game just over five minutes in. Her score was followed 63 seconds later by Del Bene’s first on a pass from Zarella. Pugh netted the first goal for Iona with 22:44 left in the first half and the teams slowly traded goals over the rest of the period, with Platz scoring with 3:10 remaining providing the halftime margin of 5-3. Del Bene opened the scoring in the second half, pushing the UC lead to 6-4. The teams again proceeded to trade goals with Branaccaio cutting the Bearcats’ lead to 7-5 with 23:33 left on the clock. Cincinnati then turned up the pressure on both ends of the field. The Bearcats scored seven goals over the final 21:55, while not allowing a single goal over that stretch. Platz started the run on a goal from Helmrath. Goals followed from Curtis, Tunnell, Del Bene, Curtis, Platz and Helmrath to provide the final margin of 14-5. The UC defense also picked up the pace in the second half. 

UP NEXT: The Bearcats open up BIG EAST Conference play with a trip to Marquette on Friday, March 28. Opening draw is set for 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT. UC will then play host to Oregon for its final non-conference game of 2014 on Sunday, March 30. Opening draw against the Ducks is set for Noon ET.