Columbia Wins AAC Tournament Championship

MONTREAT, N.C. - Stellar goalkeeping from Natalie Dubas and four goals from Kendra Blackstock lifted second-seeded Columbia to the 2016 Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Women's Lacrosse Tournament championship, defeating No. 1 seed Tennessee Wesleyan 8-5 on Saturday.

The tournament was held at Montreat in Montreat, N.C.

Columbia led 5-4 at the half, but Brittany Turner scored 2:52 into the second half to pull Tennessee Wesleyan even at 5-5. Then, Dubas took over.

The Koala goalkeeper recorded six of her eight saves in the second half, keeping the Lady Bulldogs off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Abby Ballard netted a goal at the 7:55 mark to put Columbia up 6-5. The Koalas also got goals from Blackstock and Devon Walter to seal the 8-5 victory.

For her efforts, Dubas earned Tournament MVP honors. Joining her on the All-Tournament Team are: Blackstock, Chelsea Vogleson and McKenna Buckley of Columbia; Paige Falkowski, Taylor Barganier and Brittany Turner; Gina Ives and Anna Paquin of Reinhardt; and Katie Colenda of Montreat.

Blackstock paced Columbia's offense with four goals and one assist.

For Tennessee Wesleyan, Turner notched three goals, and Falkowski recorded 11 saves.

By winning the tournament, Columbia receives an automatic berth to the NAIA Invitational in Greenville, S.C. on May 4-7.