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PREVIEW 7/12 WPLL Semi-Finals

By Jon Bird, 07/12/18, 11:00AM EDT

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#2 New England Command vs #3 Upstate Pride, #1 Baltimore Brave vs #4 NY Fight make an inaugural semi-final match up

2018’s WPLL Semi-Finals include a rematch of two of this season’s most competitive games. The Semi-Finals, which take place at West Chester University, are sure to be entertaining games for all to watch.

Game one (3:00pm ET) is between the #2 seed New England Command and the #3 seed Upstate Pride. The first matchup between the Command and the Pride ended in an OT victory—the only one of the season. New England was led by 2018 University of Maryland graduate Taylor Hensh who scored the OT game winner, and Loyola graduate Taryn VanThof, who dominated the draw while also scoring 3 goals. Draw specialist Sammy Jo Tracy and Olivia Hompe paced the Upstate Pride attack, with Jess Volpe and Lydia Sutton anchoring the defense. Both teams were missing several key players in the contest (Danielle Spencer and Kristen Carr for the Pride, Tanner Guarino and Aly Messinger for the Command), it will be interesting to see how they fare with full rosters.

Game two features a battle of the 2018 college draft picks, as #1 overall college draft pick Kylie Ohlmiller and the New York Fight (#4 seed) take on #2 overall college draft pick Marie McCool and the Baltimore Brave (#1 seed). During what may have been the most exciting regular season WPLL game, the Brave bested the Fight 16-13 in a game that featured 76 shots on goal. Both goalkeepers played incredibly, with the Brave’s Kelsea Donnelly tallying 29 saves and the Fight’s Kelsey Gregerson tallying 18 saves. Of note, the Fight’s team dynamic has improved greatly since the first match, with Tewaaratin winners Taylor Cummings and Zoë Stukenberg gelling with Tewaaraton finalists Nicole Graziano, Alice Mercer, and Ohlmiller playing some great team lacrosse in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Brave were without  leading scorer Alyssa Leonard as well as defensive powerhouse Taylor Thornton in the first match. With complete rosters and more time playing together, this is sure to be an exciting game!