SANTA CRUZ, CA -- Player of the Game Mary Elizabeth Ward (Fr., San Rafael, Calif.) scored four times to contribute nearly a quarter of her team's offense as the No. 15-ranked/Northwest Division Champion University of Washington Huskies managed No. 16/Atlantic Division Champion the University of Virginia, 13-7, in the concluding game of the 2016 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship opening round at the University of California-Santa Cruz.
Courtesy the win, Washington advances to a 9:00 a.m. Pacific quarterfinal showdown on Saturday, May 7, against No. 1/Sierra Pacific Division Champion the University of California-Davis.
The Huskies never trailed against the Wahoos as Danielle Flanagan (Sr., Menlo Park, Calif.) hit on back-to-back shots at the 6:10 and 4:23 marks of the first quarter to place Washington in front to stay. Virginia's Katrina Boyd (Pasadena, Calif.) cut the lead in half at the 3:53 mark with a man-up goal, but Lacy Chun (Jr., Hau'ula, Hawaii) answered for the Northwest Division champions with her own six-on-five conversion at 3:27 to reestablish a two-score margin at 3-1.
Virginia was able to trim its deficit back down to one prior to the conclusion of the opening frame as Claire Curran (La Grange, Ill.) and Samantha Kritzer (Hinsdale, Ill.) rattled the iron at 2:46 and 22 seconds, respectively, to surround a strike from Washington's Elizabeth Lipps (Jr., Menlo Park, Calif.) with 42 seconds on the clock to set the scoreboard at 4-3 after seven minutes of competition.
The Wahoos, however, would never again be within a goal of the Huskies as Lipps lined in a shot at 2:27 and Ward whirled in a wallop with 18 seconds remaining in the second quarter to comprise a 2-0 run by the Huskies and make it 6-3 at halftime.
Ward inflated the lead to 7-3 at 3:01 of the third quarter before Curran connected on a five-meter penalty shot to once again put Virginia on the board and make it 7-4 with 2:42 remaining in the period. Washington outscored the Wahoos 3-1 over the remainder of the third quarter as Jalene Weatherholt (Fr., San Jose, Calif.) punched in a chance at 2:16, while Ward put away opportunities at 1:20 and 35 seconds to overwhelm a marker from Kritzer at 57 seconds and make it 10-5 entering the fourth quarter.
Caitlin Cramer (Gr., Troy, Mich.) insulated the lead to 11-5 via a power-play goal at the 5:34 mark of the fourth quarter, but Virginia's Mary Delmonte (Virginia Beach, Va.) notched man-up (5:17) and even-strength (4:31) scores to keep the Wahoos within striking distance of Washington.