GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Calvin women's lacrosse team and the Britons of Albion College came into Saturday tied for first place in the MIAA standings. The two teams have combined to win the last three MIAA titles, with Calvin winning in 2017 and 2015. The Knights remained perfect in MIAA play on Saturday with a 14-10 victory over the visitors from Albion. The win pushes the Knights to 5-5 on the year and keeps Calvin in first place with Hope and Saint Mary's at 3-0. With the loss, Albion falls to 6-4 and 2-1 in the MIAA. The Knights have now won 17-straight MIAA games.
"I think we played well today," said Calvin head coach Blake Boehm. "Our offense was clicking early, we were fighting hard for possessions and our defense was marking the stops we needed. We didn't capitalize on our opportunities as well as we should have in the second half and that hurt us."
The Knights went into beast mode in the first half, scoring 10 goals, including the final five of the half.
One minute into the game, senior Emma Hall (Harare, Zimbabwe/Chisipite Senior School) got the Knights on the scoreboard. Hall scored on a free position shot.
Junior Kelly Pepper (Wyckoff, N.J./Indian Hills) sprinted down the field to score 18 seconds later.
The Britons responded with two goals to tie the game.
27 seconds later, Emma Tilma struck again.
After two Albion goals, it was all Calvin in the final 10 minutes. The Albion defense couldn't figure out the Calvin attack with the ball coming in from behind the net and Kelly Pepper raked in four assists in the final 10 minutes.
Amanda Davio notched the next two Calvin goals.
After having an assist on the last five Calvin goals, Kelly Pepper snuck one past the Albion keeper to give the Knights a 10-4 lead at halftime.
Emma Verrett opened up the second half with her second goal of the day.
The Britons would not back down and scored the next four goals to make things interesting. Kelly Pepper snapped the purple streak with a goal on a free position shot.
Emma Hall marched down the field and closed the book on the game with the final goal of the day.
"This was a big win for us," said Emma Hall. "We knew that Albion was a very good team and that today was going to be a battle. I am really proud of all of the ladies on the team for this team win."
Junior Ellis Chalfant (St. Louis, Mo./Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School) came up with some big saves for the Knights on Saturday and finished with seven saves and four ground balls.
The Calvin defense gave the Britons issues on Saturday, with Albion giving up 30 turnovers, the most in an MIAA game for Albion since 2016 at Saint Mary's. Junior Sky Gyuro (Warwick, N.Y./Storm King School) was a thorn in the Briton's paw and led the Knights with five caused turnovers; Emma Verrett was right behind with four.
In a game where possession was key, the Knights won 16 of the 26 draw controls. Senior Madeline Baas (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) finished with a game-high eight draw controls. Junior Alyssa Gagnon (Minooka, Ill./Minooka) and Emma Verrett both picked up four.
Kelly Pepper finished with a game-high 10 points on three goals and seven assists.
Calvin returns to the field on Wednesday against Olivet.