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Brave Improve to 3-0 with a 16-13 Victory over the New York Fight

By Jon Bird, 06/24/18, 7:30AM EDT

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Donnelly's 29 Saves and McCools 7 Goals Carry the Brave to Victory

In a game that saw each team’s keepers and top 2018 draft pick lead the way, the Baltimore Brave came home with a 16-13 victory over the New York Fight. Baltimore remains undefeated with a 3-0 record, while New York falls to 0-2 with their two close losses to Baltimore and New England. A full video of this game will be available to watch online on Monday 6/25. Special thanks to Ultimate Events and Sports, who provided free admission to all fans at the game.

Towson graduate and Bryant University coach Kelsea Donnelly had an incredible performance for the Brave in net, collecting a WPLL record 29 saves. New York's goalkeeping was also strong, as Hofstra grad Kelsey Gregerson made 18 saves. Young talent also stepped up, as Baltimore's Marie McCool scored 7 goals and New York's Kylie Ohlmiller tallied a hat trick. 

Baltimore came out strong, scoring the game's first goal with a monster shot by Dana Dobbie. Within the next minute Dobbie's Brave teammates Karri Ellen Johnson and Brooke Griffin scored goals of their own, putting New York down 3-0 off the three goals by former Maryland Terps. New York's Marisa Romeo scored her first of the day to silence the Baltimore run, but moment's later Brave defender and UMass grad Kelsey Sheridan went coast to coast, capitalizing on her speed and taking the ball straight to cage for her first professional goal. The next eight minutes of play were marked by incredible goalkeeping, (Donnelly and Gregerson each stopped 6 shots in the quarter), but Fight defender and Florida grad Caroline Fitzgerald eventually broke through, taking the ball the entire stretch of the field and scoring her first goal in a play very similar to Sheridan's. Quarter one scoring finished with Marie McCool's first of the day, putting the Brave up 5-2.

The Fight came out roaring in quarter two, scoring the first three goals (Kaileen Hart, Taylor Cummings, and Zoë Stukenberg), brining the score to an even 5-5. This would be the last tie of the game, as McCool quickly responded with two more goals, bringing Baltimore up 7-5. Navy grad Jenna Collins scored for the Brave, followed by a deep goal by Cummings that was close to a two point shot. In the final minute of play McCool would score twice more and Romeo would tally another goal, bringing the halftime score to 10-7 Baltimore. The second quarter saw some incredible saves by Baltimore's Donnelly, who recorded 10 stops in the quarter alone.

A minute in to the second half #1 2018 College Draft pick Kylie Ohlmiller scored her first career goal off of a free possession shot, but the Fight could not capitalize on the positive momentum, as the Brave then scored four straight goals (McCool [2], Laura Zimmerman, Collins). Donnelly was a big part of New York's dry spell, as she turned away 9 shots in the quarter. Cummings finished out the quarter's goals, sending a well placed corner shot past Donnelly, bringing the score to 14-9 Brave. 

The fourth quarter started the Fight launched a comeback effort of their own, scoring two goals in the first minute of play (Ohlmiller, Stukenberg). But they were ultimately unable to erase the Baltimore lead, falling in a final score of 16-13.

Defensively Towson graduate Kelly McQuilkin played phenomenal, high energy defense, pressuring Ohlmiller and limiting her scoring opportunities. Fight defender and #1 overall draft pick Alice Mercer also played valiantly, as did Fight midfielder Kelly McPartland. The game also saw Hong Kong Representative Team captain Ka Hei Hui's first WPLL appearance, making her the first Hong Kong player to record playing time in a professional lacrosse game.

The Fight seek to earn their first win next Saturday, 6/30, when they face the Upstate Pride as part of a double header with the MLL's New York Lizards at Hofstra University, and the Brave's next game is on 7/6 against the Upstate Pride at Goucher College as part of ILWomen's Committed Academy.