The Calvin women's lacrosse team continue its Spring Break swing down south with a stop in Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday night, facing off against the Panthers of Birmingham-Southern College.
Calvin entered with a 2-2 record overall while Birmingham-Southern was 5-5.
The Panthers got onto the board first, scoring just over two minutes into the contest. Junior Paige Noordyke responded with a goal for the Knights to tie the game at 1-1.
Two goals by junior Nikita Blaauwendraat and a goal by freshman Ashley Grabowski, countered by four goals from the Panthers, put the game at 7-6 in the favor of Birmingham-Southern with 7:10 remaining.
The Panthers then scored the final two goals of the half, and Birmingham-Southern took a 9-6 lead into the break. Balance was the key to Calvin's offense in the first half as the Knights had five players score their six goals. Calvin outshot the Panthers 16-14 in the opening period, but had 14 turnovers as opposed to 11 for Birmingham-Southern.
Out of halftime, the teams traded goals until 12:30 remaining the game, with sophomore Carolyn Forbes, senior Michelle Holwerda, and junior Lissa Busscher all scoring goals for the Knights as the Panthers continued to hold a three-goal lead at 12-9.
Birmingham-Southern then took its largest lead of the game at 13-9 as Madeline Golden scored her sixth goal of the game with 11:16 to go.
With around seven minutes remaining, Calvin received two quick goals from Cefaratti and Reed, and the Knights cut their deficit to 13-11.
Calvin would come no closer, however, and the Panthers scored two insurance goals en route to a 15-11 win over the Knights.
Calvin outshot Birmingham-Southern 34-25 but were stifled by Panthers goalkeeper Caitlin Dryer who made 17 saves. The Knights out-drew the Panthers 16-12.
Cefaratti paced Calvin on offense with two goals and three assists while Reed and Blaauwendraat each added two goals.
Golden finished with six goals and one assist for Birmingham-Southern while Amanda Amerson chipped in five goals and an assist.
"The flow of the game was very back-and-forth. Of all the games we've played so far, it was the one that was most like a dog fight – neither team was going to back down," said head coach Blake Boehm. "The downfall of this game for us was our shooting percentage. First half we were 6-for-16 and second half we were 5-for-18 (on scoring on shots), so we didn't do our best placing our shots."
The Knights, now 2-3 overall, look forward to Saturday when they will complete their spring break trip in Lexington, Kentucky, playing Transylvania University. Saturday's contest is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.