No. 12 Women's Lacrosse Opens 2016 Season With 20-1 Victory Over North Greenville

No. 12 Women's Lacrosse Opens 2016 Season With 20-1 Victory Over North Greenville

Claire Wigler led all scorers with five goals and set school records with six assists and 11 points, while Alysha Kulka set the tone with a hat trick in the first five minutes of the contest as nationally 12th-ranked University of Mount Olive opened the 2016 season with a 20-1 victory over North Greenville University in Conference Carolinas women's lacrosse Saturday at Amon Field. Riann Daziel and Saffron Snethen each added four goals for the defending conference champion Trojans, which have won nine of their last 10 games, dating back to last season.

Mount Olive (1-0 overall, 1-0 Conference Carolinas) needed just 47 seconds to get on the scoreboard as Wigler found Kulka in front of the net for the first goal of the game. Wigler and Kulka combined again two minutes later and Kulka added an unassisted goal with 25:26 left in the first half to give the Trojans a 5-0 lead.

Wigler and Daziel followed with free position goals 37 seconds apart and Wigler's goal from a Kulka assist extended the lead to double digits at 10-0 with 20:52 remaining before halftime. Snethen recorded a hat trick in the first half and Wigler's free position goal with 5.1 seconds remaining gave the Trojans a 14-0 halftime advantage.

North Greenville (0-1, 0-1) spoiled Mount Olive's shutout bid when Taylor Kennington scored for the Crusaders with 24:44 left to play. Daziel answered with a goal two minutes later and Caity Hamilton followed with two goals for the Trojans. Caitlin Sabadish's goal with 7:47 remaining closed out the scoring.

Wigler shared both previous school single-game records for points and assists. The senior attack from Syracuse, N.Y., tallied eight points against Lees-McRae and recorded four assists against Erskine last season in her first year at Mount Olive after transferring from Onondaga Community College.

Kulka added five assists to go with her three goals to match the previous school single-game points record. Hannah Knight, MVP of last year's Conference Carolinas Tournament, played the first half in goal for the Trojans and did not face any shots. Sarah Snell, along with freshmen Sarah Thompson and Zoey Guignardi, all saw time in goal in the second half. Thompson recorded Mount Olive's lone save of the contest. The Trojans outshot the Crusaders 27-2.

North Greenville goalkeeper Lowri Gowing finished with three saves and a caused turnover.

Daziel, a senior attack who has been at Mount Olive since the school added women's lacrosse, was happy with the team's performance but was also quick to acknowledge that Saturday was just one game.

"We still have stuff to work on," said Daziel, the Trojan women's lacrosse all-time scoring leader with 142 goals. "But we're excited for the season."

While making sure not to look past Mount Olive's next game, Daziel admits the team has its eyes on a lofty goal for the season.

"We want to go to Denver!" The 2016 NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse Championship takes place in May in Denver, Colo.

Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans travel to Hickory, N.C., to take on Lenoir-Rhyne in a non-conference match-up. Game time is 4 p.m.