Greenville, S.C. – Behind a first-half hat trick from Kyra LaMotte, Furman women's lacrosse held on to a 6-2 halftime lead and downed Detroit Mercy, 12-8, on Thursday night inside Paladin Stadium in the second of two SoCon semifinal games. The win moves Furman to 11-7 on the year and puts the Paladins in a Saturday SoCon Championship rematch with Mercer.
Furman was led by Hannah Demis with seven points on the day (three goals, four assists), while Grace Pollak and Kyra LaMotte each added three goals and Sydney Catts tallied two. Lauren Farber (1 assist) and Isabelle Walsh (1 goal) each added one point for the Paladins, while Demis also won a team-high five draws. Courtney Baker earned the win in goal, making 11 saves.
The Paladins opened the half with back-to-back goals from Hannah Demis and Kyra LaMotte, before the Titans cut the lead to one with 19:07 to go. Kyra LaMotte picked up her second goal of the day to push the lead to 3-1 with 14:44 remaining in the half, before the Titans again cut the lead to one on a free-position shot with 13:11 to go before halftime. LaMotte then completed the first-half hat trick with 9:23 to go before halftime, pushing Furman's lead to 4-2. The Paladins then netted two more scores to end the half on a 3-0 run, taking a 6-2 lead into the locker room.
Detroit Mercy cut the lead to 6-3 to open the second half, before Sydney Catts netted back-to-back scores to push the lead to 8-3 with 27:42 to go. The Titans cut the lead to 8-4, but it was Grace Pollak who responded with back-to-back goals for the Paladins, pushing the lead to 10-4 with 23:12 to go, forcing Detroit Mercy to take a timeout. Both teams were held off the board for the next 8:00 of game time, until the Titans netted a free-position score to cut the Furman lead in half at 10-5 with 14:48 to go. Furman pushed the lead to 11-5, before the Titans netted back-to-back goals to cut the lead to four at 11-7. Grace Pollak completed her hat trick to give the Paladins the 12-7 lead, but the Titans responded to again cut the lead to four at 12-8. The two teams played solid defense the rest of the way, giving the Paladins the 12-8 victory and sending them to Saturday's championship game.
No. 3 seed Furman will take on No. 1 seed Mercer on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in a rematch of last season's championship game. The Bears downed Central Michigan in the first of two SoCon semifinal matchups on Thursday.