NCAA D-II Women’s Lacrosse Championship: Tampa Crowned National Champions For First Time Following Victory Over Adelphi

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WINTER PARK, Fla. – The University of Tampa women’s lacrosse team is crowned National Champions for the first time in program history after defeating Adelphi, 13-8. The Spartans start the season by breaking history, and end the season by rewriting it. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

As both teams prepared for the opening draw control, the Tampa Spartans knew they had to start strong. Although Adelphi won the draw control, Alex Walling made a crucial first save to prevent the Panthers from scoring. On the next possession, Cece Colombo passed to Sophi Wrisk at the top of the arc, who secured Tampa’s first goal. Shortly after, Peyton Howell assisted Wrisk in scoring a low shot past the Adelphi goalie. Wrisk, continuing to be no stranger to the net, completed a hat trick on the following possession with an assist from Riley McGettigan. Trailing by three, the Panthers scored their first goal at the 7:28 mark. Tampa responded quickly as Howell went one-on-one with a Panther defender and found the back of the net, regaining a three-goal advantage for Tampa. Adelphi capitalized on a man-up goal, but Tampa kept the pressure on offensively. Georgia Glowaki connected with Wrisk on the left side of the cage, netting her fourth goal of the game. With less than a minute left in the first quarter, the Panthers scored another man-up goal, narrowing the gap to 5-3. 

The Spartans completely dominated the second quarter. Offensively, Wrisk kicked off the scoring with a goal from the free position spot. A minute later, Alyssa Romano completed a clear to junior defender Lexi Waters, who advanced into Adelphi territory and fired a long shot into the net, marking her third goal this season. In the final minutes of the quarter, Gracie Colombo found a gap in the defense and scored, extending Tampa’s lead to 8-3 before halftime. Meanwhile, the Spartans’ defense held the Panthers scoreless. Katie DeShanHowell, and Gracie Colombo each forced a turnover, and Walling continued to make vital saves. Trying to stay in the match, Adelphi looked for scoring opportunities by increasing pressure on Walling and the Spartans defense, taking shots from all angles in the early minutes of the third quarter. Romano caused a crucial turnover, leading to Sarah Hinkle finding the back of the net from a pass by Howell. Tampa capitalized on a failed clear attempt by Adelphi, with Howell connecting with Hinkle again near the top of the arc to score, extending the lead to 10-3. After a long scoring drought, the Panthers finally found the net at the 2:27 mark before the end of the quarter.  

Entering the final 15 minutes of the season, the Spartans knew they had to give everything they had. Delaney Stahrr and Cece Colombo forced turnovers to fend off the Panthers’ attacks, while on the offensive end, Hinkle scored back-to-back goals with assists from Howell. Adelphi responded with two consecutive goals, narrowing Tampa’s lead to 12-6. Undeterred, the Spartans extended their lead as McGettigan executed a 1-2 play with Wrisk that resulted in another goal. The Panthers scored two more goals, but it was too late for a comeback. As the game clock hit zero, the Tampa bench rushed onto the field to celebrate with their teammates, hoisting the national championship trophy in the air. 

Stat of the Game – Tampa secures program’s first-ever NCAA title. 

TAMPA POST-GAME NOTES 

  • Sophi Wrisk has recorded 22 goals over the last six games and seven while at the championships.
  • Gracie ColomboSarah HinklePeyton Howell, and Alex Walling were all named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team.
  • Wrisk was named Most Outstanding Player.  
  • Tampa finishes the year with a 19-3 overall record which is a program best.
  • Alex Walling recorded a total of 6 saves. 
  • Sarah Hinkle recorded a hat trick in today’s match. 
  • Tampa caused 7 turnovers and won 17 groundballs.  

To all of the Tampa Women’s Lacrosse fans, the program thanks you for all the support that has been given throughout this historic season! Stand As One.