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Hamline Rallies For First NCAA Tournament Win

Hamline University

Courtesy of Hamline University

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- It was the type of situation that tests a team's mettle and inner strength. The Hamline University lacrosse team, normally a first-half powerhouse, was held down offensively and trailed Rhodes College, 7-3, at halftime of their first-round NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament game Saturday.

The Pipers regrouped and came out firing in the second half. They scored eight unanswered goals and held off a late Lynx rally for an 11-9 win. As a result, Hamline, whose 19 wins on the season is the most by any D-III women's lacrosse team, advanced to the second round where they will face host Illinois Wesleyan University (17-2) Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Lynx put the Pipers in an early 3-0 hole. Lexus Tatge had a goal and an assist as HU climbed within 4-3 but Rhodes responded with three tallies in a row for a 7-3 halftime bulge.

Alycia Monserrate Novotny scored two goals 41 seconds apart early in the second half to start the comeback. Kalley Elwell and Brayden Maass then connected to tie the game and Novotny untied matters with her fourth goal of the afternoon with 16:05 to play. Hamline added three more goals and held on for their first win in three tries in an NCAA tournament.

Molly Dionne registered nine saves to earn the win in goal.

HU (19-1 overall) now has an NCAA rematch with the team that defeated them in last year's first round of the tournament. The Titans, winner of the CCIW regular and postseason titles, has won 12 straight games.