Spartans blank Ursuline 3-0, advance to Division II field hockey semifinals vs. Delmar

Lake Forest’s Maycee Collison, right, celebrates her first-half goal with Elle Wood against Ursuline at Lake on Saturday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

FELTON — Lake Forest High has punched its ticket to the Division II field hockey semifinals for the second year in a row.

Shutting out fifth-seeded Ursuline Academy, 3-0, in Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinal showdown, the fourth-seeded Spartans will match up with top-seeded Delmar High in Wednesday’s semifinal round at the University of Delaware.

“We just wanted to have fun, play as a team and enjoy the moment,” said Lake coach Michele Tucker.

Junior Maycee Collison, senior Julianna Tyndall and junior Elle Wood each scored a goal for the Spartans.

Lake Forest’s Grace Aguilar, left, battles against Ursuline’s Jane Lyons at Lake on Saturday.

“This is probably the best game we’ve played all season,” said Tyndall. “I’m just so proud of this team. We’ve worked really hard, especially these last few weeks, to play the way we played today.”

Lake controlled the tempo for much of the game, edging Ursuline in shots on goal 12-2 and penalty corners 7-5.

Collison’s goal at the 16:36 mark of the first half, with an assist from Wood, gave Lake the early 1-0 advantage.

“I just saw someone take a shot in and the post was open, the goalie had no idea that I was over there, and I just tipped it in. It was a good play,” she said.

Ten minutes into the second half, Tyndall extended the lead to 2-0 after driving the ball past Ursuline’s goalkeeper on a penalty corner attempt. Junior Hailey Moore was credited with the assist.

Lake Forest’s Grace Aguilar, left, brings the ball up the field against Ursuline’s Jane Lyons.

Driving the ball off a corner isn’t something Tyndall usually gets the opportunity to do, but she wanted to step up and make a play in the team’s biggest game of the season.

“We knew we had to take a space shot, because they have really good flyers and we weren’t getting the pass off,” explained Tyndall. “Somebody had to take it, so I said ‘OK, I’ll take it.’ I never do it in practice, because driving has never really been my thing, but I just wanted to step up today for my team.”

Elle Wood rolled off the momentum created by her teammates and padded the lead with a goal at the 4:29 mark of the second half, capping the Spartans’ offensive production for the day.

“I saw Jules (Julianna) take the shot and I saw the post was open, and I knew I needed to get a stick on it to score,” said Wood. “I really wanted to score to keep the momentum going until the end.”

Wood and Tyndall each finished with one goal and one assist.

Lake Forest’s Maycee Collison watches her first-half goal against Ursuline at Lake on Saturday.

Junior goalkeeper August Lewis made saves on both of Ursuline’s shot attempts to record the team’s sixth shutout of the season.

“August is definitely one of the best goalies in the state, and I think she’s amazing and she works so well with us,” said Wood.

The Spartans will look to avenge last year’s 4-0 semifinals loss to the back-to-back reigning champion Wildcats when they face off in the semis.

It marks the third year in a row that these two schools will meet in the state tournament, with Delmar defeating Lake 5-1 in the first round of the 2016 tourney.

“We’re really excited,” Tyndall said. “Delmar is an amazing team and we respect them a lot, but we’re definitely going out there with the mindset that we have a chance to win, so we’re very excited.”

“This year I think we’re all really close, just like we were last year, but this year I feel like we know what to expect and we can do pretty good in the semifinal game next week,” said Wood.

“I think we just need to stay together as a unit and keep up our aggression,” Collison said.

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