The Benedictine women’s lacrosse team will be competing in the NAIA National Invitational Championship for the first time in the program’s four year history Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Raven’s defeated University of the Cumberlands Patriots 14-10 for the second time this season by dominating the first half like they have so many times throughout the season.

“It almost doesn’t feel real right now,” coach Amanda Magee said. “It almost hasn’t fully sunk in.”

Benedictine built a 9-0 lead at halftime that proved to be the difference on the day, especially with the Patriots responding with ten goals in the second half.

Coach Amanda Magee stated that the semifinal win was probably the hardest test her team has faced this season.

“That was probably our toughest game all season for sure,” Magee said. “That was a seriously difficult game for us and I’m so proud of how my ladies handled themselves.”

Freshman Natalie Wechter led the team in goals on the day with six.

The Ravens also faced adversity by way of receiving 29 fouls in the game compared the Patriots 17 and included junior Kacey Moore and freshman Aidan McEnerney unable to play most of the second half due to card accumulation.

“I don’t think the referees were completely on our side today,” Magee said. “We handled ourselves well with what was thrown at us.”

Magee said playing without two of their key players most of the day is just a testament to this team’s resiliency.

“It’s incredible that we were able to play our game without two of our major leaders out for most of the game,” Magee said. “It just shows the depth that we have and the amount of hard work they’ve put in since August.”

Junior goalkeeper Taryn St. Louis said this game truly challenged their ability to play the whole game at a high level.

“We always talk about how we have to play the entire sixty minutes,” St. Louis said. “Today’s game definitely pushed and tested us to see if we could play the whole sixty minutes.”

St. Louis said reaching the title game was always the team’s endgame from the start of the season.

“It just felt like a big weight was just lifted off our shoulders,” St. Louis said. “It’s something that we set as our goal from the very beginning, so now that we got here it just feels great.”

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