MEQUON, Wis. – Hayley Peppers set the program's single game record with 16 ground balls and Concordia University Wisconsin earned a 16-3 victory over Aurora University on Tuesday afternoon at Fitting Field.
Peppers set the record during the Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference game with her 11th ground ball in the opening half with 4:34 before the intermission. The Franktown, Colo., native is ranked tied for sixth nationally in ground balls per game and earlier this year was leading the country in ground balls per game.
Meanwhile, the Falcons controlled nearly every aspect on the field, including a 44-19 advantage in ground balls and a 43-10 shots lead (37-9 on goal). In all, eight different players tallied a point. CUW's 44 ground balls tied the program's single game record.
Both teams traded goals during the first five-plus minutes of action, but then CUW rattled off nine-consecutive goals to take control. AU tallied back-to-back markers in the early stages of the second half before the Falcons scored six more before the final horn sounded.
Junior Sammi Reiter (Stillwater, Minn.) led all players with six points (five goals, one assist), to go along with seven ground balls, four draw control wins and a career-high-tying five caused turnovers (tied the program's single game record). Peppers (junior) also tallied three goals, two assists, won a career-best eight draw controls and caused three turnovers.
CUW (7-3, 4-1 MWLC) was helping each other all game and finished with 10 assists on 16 goals, which included a career-best three assists from senior Aly Pinkos (South Milwaukee, Wis.). Junior Hannah Redden (Libertyville, Ill.) had two assists and scored twice.
Junior Emily Heckendorf (Merrill, Wis.) recorded a hat trick, picked up seven ground balls, won two draw controls and caused a pair of turnovers. Sophomore Sabrina Boehlke (Random Lake, Wis.) and junior Hannah Aton (Columbus, Ind.) ended with three and two ground balls, respectively.
AU (2-7, 1-3 MWLC) was led by Jordan Nielsen who had two goals and Danielle Morgan recorded a goal. Nielsen also had four ground balls and four draw control wins.
Freshman Veronika Metanova (Palatine, Ill.) made six saves for CUW in a complete game win, while her counterpart Sydney Frey made 17 saves before exiting due to illness midway through the second half.
The Falcons won 15-of-21 draw controls, cleared 12-of-14 chances, forced 22 turnovers of which 15 were caused and held the Spartans to 10-of-22 on clear attempts.
CUW returns to action on Sunday for the first of three road games in five days against Illinois Institute of Technology at 3 p.m. They then play at North Central College on April 15 at 7 p.m. and at Beloit College on April 17 at 7 p.m.