Koala Lacrosse drops Valkyries 13-12 in OT

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Columbia College (0-0, 0-0 AAC) lacrosse team kicked off their regular season with a nail biter 13-12 overtime win against the Converse College Valkyries on Tuesday night. 

Converse put one in the back of the net in the first two minutes to start the scoring. A few minutes later, Columbia took a 2-1 lead with 2 goals from senior Devon Walter, both assisted by fellow senior Kendra Blackstock. Converse came back to take a 3-2 lead, before sophomore Morgan Solesbee went to goal with an assist from Walter, starting a close fight for the lead that would continue for the rest of the game.

As the half came to a close, Converse took a 5-3 lead, and Columbia's Blackstock ran unassisted to goal to close it 5-4. Another goal from the Valkyries put the Koalas back to a 6-4 deficit until Blackstock closed the gap again with a free position goal with just :39 seconds left in the half. Columbia went into halftime with a 1-point deficit, 6-5.

The second half started with a goal from Converse before Columbia went on a 6 goal streak unanswered by the Valkyries. Three goals from Blackstock, and a goal each from senior Shanna Puckett, junior Tiffany Tortorello, and sophomore Solesbee put the Koalas up to an 11-7 lead. Converse answered with one goal before Puckett again found the back of the net with an assist by Devon Walter, ending Columbia's scoring for the half with a 12-8 lead. Unfortunately, the Valkyries weren't done yet, and scored four more to tie the game at 12-12, forcing overtime. 

The Koalas huddled briefly before taking the field for the first 3:00 half of golden goal overtime, where the first goal by either team would secure the win. Columbia took possession, and at 1:35, freshmen Sunema Mauga found the net with an assist from Blackstock, giving Columbia a win with a final score of 13-12. 

Columbia's Kendra Blackstock (SR/Charleston, SC) led the team with 5 goals, 5 assists, and 7 draw controls. 

Senior Devon Walter (SR/Columbia, SC) racked up 2 goals, 2 assists, and a draw control. 

Columbia showed strength on both sides of the field, with junior Tiffany Tortorello (JR/Pine Bush, NY) leading the midfield with 3 groundballs, 2 draw controls, and 2 caused turnovers. On the defensive side, junior Chelsea Vogleson (JR/Columbia, SC) left with 2 groundballs, 2 draw controls, and 1 caused turnover. 


by Devon Walter