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Lindenwood Strong In Women D1 Elite After Win Over CWU

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Lindenwood Strong In Women D1 Elite After Win Over CWU

Lindenwood and CWU players pose together afer the game.

Lindenwood University defeated Central Washington 53-29 in a clash between Women's D1 Elite teams, and the victory probably secures Lindenwood as the top seed going into the D1 Elite playoffs.

Lindenwood Head Coach Billy Nicholas continues to adjust his lineup and tinkered with it again this game. All 23 players saw time against the Wildcats.

Central Washington opened up the match scoring first but the Lions tied it up shortly after Natalie Gray went for a long run and Tiyanna Hooker, making her Lindenwood debut, went over. Alia Far would put up the next score and Natalie Gray would convert to make it 12-5 Lions.

CWU replied to make it 12-10, But Gray and freshman Demi Allen answered before the break to make it 24-10. In the second half, Hooker, Isabel Manu, Meg Gold, Daisy Manoa, and Bri Vasquez all touched down, with Gray converting two.

Central Washington for tries from Maddie Hadden, Hayley Abeyta, Bianca Ortiz-Pallen, Michel Navarro, and Suiluana Sooialo A'au. Mikayla Roberts converted two.

"As always this match is a tightly contested one and we have a ton of respect for the CWU program so we are always excited for the competition," said Nicholas. "Few things stuck out to me today. We had Daisy Manoa and Tiyanna Hooker get their first run out today with the program, both contributing a score apiece and impressive play, and freshman Demi Allen also played a great game in both attack and defense. The team in general made some adjustments at half and got settled in and was good to see and hear their conversation and progress throughout the match. We still have a lot of Spring left, with the first match done we have a new platform to continue to build from."

Meanwhile, CWU Head Coach Trevor Richards wasn't too displeased with the result.

"I'm proud of the fight our ladies put up today," Richards said. "It was a true battle with blows exchanged back and forth all match; no doubt there are some sore bodies on both sides. We showed substantial improvement from our last match in January but we know that there is still much work to be done, especially with consistency in our defensive launch and work rate off the ball. The good news is that this is fixable and we will be back to the grind on Monday. As always, Lindenwood were gracious and hospitable hosts and we are grateful for the competitive, yet respectful relationship that we have with them." 

Lindenwood, Central Washington, Life, and Penn State will play in the D1 Elite semifinals on April 11 at the rugby stadium at Saint Mary's College. The finals will be on April 25 at Obetz, Ohio. These games will be held in conjunction with Men's D1A playoffs, and will be shown live on Eleven Sports and FTF.