Ashland University's lacrosse team closed its 2019 campaign with a 22-17 win at home on Sunday (April 28) against Lewis.
The Eagles (5-11 overall, 4-8 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) finished ahead of Lewis (1-12 overall, 1-11 GLIAC) and Maryville (2-13 overall, 1-11 GLIAC) in the GLIAC standings. AU had the best finish of the three new programs in the GLIAC, and swept the other two in head-to-head contests. The Eagles were picked to finish last in the conference in the preseason coaches' poll.
"It's good for our girls," said Ashland head coach Shaun Williamson. "Preseason, we were picked to finish last, so it's nice to prove some people wrong and finish in seventh in the conference, which I'm not terribly disappointed with.
"At times down the stretch, we hit a rough patch for a little bit, then we picked it up. Today, we played overall our best offensive game."
The highlight of the game was the AU offense running rampant, scoring a season-high 22 goals in its final game of 2019.
"I think we just have been working on finding open players, and space, and we continued to do that today," said Williamson.
Leading the charge was senior Lauren Taylor, who capped her career with a seven-goal effort, bringing her season tally to 17.
"I was successful today finishing my shots and going to goal," said Taylor.
Taylor also had a good feeling about how the season wrapped up.
"Seeing all the girls improve when over half our team has never played before and getting bond and bring that on the field was great," said Taylor. "Being able to prove how far we've come, it was good to finish on a good note."
Junior Sofia Michael also added seven goals and three assists. Michael fired in 60 goals in the season, and finished as the GLIAC's goal scoring champion, three ahead of second place, University of Indianapolis' Grace Gunneson.
Junior Renee Ruppert added four goals in the contest, along with four assists. She finished with 30 goals and 26 assists on the season.
"Haley and Lauren have done a great job all year," said Williamson. "LT had a great day today putting in seven goals. This is by far her best offensive output.
"I'm happy for them. Haley was a kid who played high school lacrosse and decided Ashland was a great fit academically, but didn't have the opportunity to play lacrosse anymore. I think she missed it, and the opportunity to come out here and play was I think good for her."
Freshman Corynn Schneider picked up her fifth win of the year in the goal for Ashland. She stopped eight shots in her winning effort.
The Eagles were clinical with their free-position shots, finishing on 6-of-11. They were also able to control more of the play, winning 25 draw controls to just 15 by the Flyers.
AU slightly outshot Lewis, 37-35, in the fast-paced offensive display.
"I'm proud of them," said Williamson. "They've worked really hard. When you have half the team that hadn't played before and to come out here and pick up a new sport and try new things and put it all together and get some wins. I have nothing to be unhappy about."