PITTSBURGH, PA. -- Goalie/Player of the Game Hannah Heemstra (Jr., Zeeland, Mich.) made 15 saves and Murielle Garbarino (Fr., Grand Haven, Mich.) contributed four goals as the No. 4-ranked/Midwest Division Champion Lakers of Grand Valley State University rallied in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter to manage No. 7/Northwest Division Champion the University of Washington, 8-6, and make the Fifth Place game of the 2017 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship at the University of Pittsburgh's Joe C. Trees Pool.
GVSU will face No. 5/Florida Division Champion the University of Central Florida at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 7, back at Trees Pool in the Fifth Place game as it marks the second consecutive year the Lakers will battle for Fifth Place in the final 16-team tournament standings. The Lakers, who previously garnered a 12th place finish in 2010 at the University of Arizona, fell to San Diego State University by a 14-4 count in the 2016 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship Fifth Place game at the University of California-Santa Cruz to officially rate in Sixth Place.
Grand Valley State fell behind the Huskies early as Washington received back-to-back markers from Lauren Hickey (Gr., Palo Verdes, Calif.) with 5:03 and 2:44 remaining in the first quarter to claim a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the contest.
The Lakers cracked its scoreboard goose-egg 36 seconds following Hickey's second tally as Kara Vandawater (Jr., Rockford, Mich.) drove home a man-up opportunity (2:08) to cut Washington's lead in half at 2-1 going into the second quarter.
Garbarino pulled GVSU even 2:01 into the second quarter by connecting on an even-strength chance with 4:59 remaining in the first half, but Hickey completed a hat-trick at the 3:38 mark to once again stake the Huskies to a lead at 3-2.
Megan Carr (So., Dexter, Mich.) and Garbarino combined to tie the game and then put the Lakers out in front as the duo dropped in man-up (3:06) and even-strength (1:59) scores, respectively, to make it 4-3 in favor of the Midwest Division Champions. Hickey, however, would not allow her team to fall behind as she put away her game-high fourth goal of the game with 1:35 remaining to deadlock the teams at four-all going into halftime.
The two teams continued to launch scoring jabs over the course of the third quarter as Garbarino hit the twine with a natural strike at 4:08 prior to Karli Stevenson (Fr., Tacoma, Wash.) answering for the Huskies via a successful power-play chance at 3:17 to make it five-all.
Garbarino tapped out her scoring output with under a minute remaining in the third quarter by netting her own advantage goal with 58 ticks on the clock to provide Grand Valley State a narrow 6-5 lead to begin the fourth quarter.
The lead would last until the 4:28 mark of the final frame when Stevenson stroked in the equalizer to even the damage at six-all and set-up a sprint to the final buzzer.
Needing some offense to regain the lead and acquire some scoreboard insurance, Vandawater and Carr delivered down the stretch as the duo lined in shots at 4:11 and 3:02, respectively, for the difference in taking the 8-6 win.
Carr and Vandawater joined Garbarino in recording multi-goal games as the pair put away two goals apiece to account for half of the Lakers' offense.
Hickey and Stevenson also notched multi-goal games in putting up four and two goals, respectively, in support of a six save effort by goalie Lizzy Lipps (Sr., Menlo Park, Calif.).
The defeat drops Washington into the Seventh Place game at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 7, where the Huskies will match-up with No. 19/New England Division Champion Dartmouth College.
Washington will have a chance to tie for its third best finish at the Women's National Collegiate Club Championship as the program previously finished in First (2000), Sixth (2003), Seventh (2016) and Eighth (2004) Place in four prior trips to the event.
GVSU Goals: Murielle Garbarino (4); Megan Carr (2); Kara Vandawater (2)
Washington Goals: Lauren Hickey (4); Karli Stevenson (2)
Saves: GVSU - Hannah Heemstra (15) ; Washington - Lizzy Lipps (6)
Exclusions: GVSU - 2 ; Washington - 3
Advantage Opportunities: GVSU - 3-for-3 ; Washington - 1-for-2
Sprints: GVSU - 2-for-4 (2nd, 4th) ; Washington - 2-for-4 ()
Officials: Pat Beemer, Tiffany Urbanski