JWU Denver beats Whitworth for first victory

Madisyn Tulenchik, Ashley Guerrero, Julianna Lozada
Madisyn Tulenchik, Ashley Guerrero, Julianna Lozada

SPOKANE, Wash. – Junior Ashley Guerrero (Downey, CA) had six goals and senior Katie Smith (Livermore, CA) scored three times to lead the Johnson & Wales University women's lacrosse team to a 12-5 victory over Whitworth University on Thursday.

The win marked the first in team history for the fourth-year JWU Denver program.

The host Pirates (0-1) jumped out to a 3-2 lead five minutes in before an unassisted score by Guerrero sparked a comeback by the visiting Wildcats (1-2). JWU scored three straight to end the first half on another goal by Guerrero and one by Smith before stringing together three more unanswered to open the second half to take control.

Junior Abril Rodriguez (Glendale, AZ) converted on a free-position shot to open the second-half run, which also included another goal each by Guerrero and Smith as Wildcats built an 8-3 lead.

The Pirates' Jordan Cain cut the deficit in half at the 22:20 mark to make it 8-4, but the hosts never got closer as JWU finished with a 26-22 edge in ground balls and 11-8 advantage in draw controls.

Freshman Brigid McCollam (New Fairfield, CT) made 17 saves on 22 shots in net for the Wildcats. Classmate Madisyn Tulenchik (Victoria, MN) also scored twice while Jochelyn Suglio (Orlando, FL) had a pair of assists for coach Mallory Bahr's team.

The Wildcats wrap up their four-game, seven-day road trip on at Saturday at George Fox.