2023 NAIA Women’s Lacrosse Championship Recap & All-Tournament Team

2023 NAIA Women’s Lacrosse Championship Recap & All-Tournament Team

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.[SCHEDULE | BRACKET] Lawrence Tech (Mich.) captured its first NAIA Women’s Lacrosse red banner after defeating SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 16-15 in overtime of the championship game, Saturday night where Gabi Mitchell of LTU found teammate Alaina Smythe for the game-winning goal with 3:11 remaining in overtime.

Clarke Haas of SCAD won the opening draw control and, on that possession, teammate Annise Berkeley raced upfield and fired a shot into the cage as SCAD captured the contest’s first goal. The Bees extended their lead as Clarke Haas netted back-to-back goals for a three-goal lead with 11:08 remaining in the first quarter. Lawrence Tech got on the board with a goal from Bella Burke, however, SCAD’s Aly De Caro converted a free position that put the Bees back at a three-goal lead. That goal from De Caro was her 14th of the tournament along with her 17th point, both of which set a new NAIA tournament record. Both goalies made a pair of saves before each team added a late goal. SCAD held a 5-2 lead after the opening quarter.

Bella Burke of Lawrence Tech won the opening draw control of the second quarter, split the defense and bounced a shot into the cage to cut the deficit to two just nine seconds into the second quarter. The Blue Devils added two goals as Sydney Robinson tallied a goal and an assist to even the score at five midway through the quarter. LTU extended its scoring streak to seven unanswered goals for a 10-5 lead with 4:39 left in the first half. SCAD closed out the half with a 3-1 run, including a pair from Haas, as Lawrence Tech held a 10-8 lead at the end of the half.

Both teams notched a goal in the first four minutes of the third quarter as the Blue Devils maintained their lead at 11-9 with 11:02 remaining. Two minutes later, Berkeley found De Caro cutting down the middle of the field for a goal to pull the Bees within a goal with 7:53 remaining in the quarter. SCAD won the ensuing draw control and, on that possession, Haas put a low shot into the cage to tie the game at 11r, less than a minute later. The two teams traded goals before, Haas converted a free position goal to give SCAD a one-goal lead with a score of 13-12 with 3:18 left in the third period. The score remained that way until the 47-second mark as Smythe netted her fourth goal of the game to even the score at 13.

The Bees gained the lead once again as Haas notched two goals in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. It was Haas’ ninth goal of the game, which is an NAIA Tournament record for goals in a game. Anabelle Acluche of Lawrence Tech made consecutive saves for the Blue Devils while teammate Hannah Huebner forced a turnover and converted it into a goal to pull LTU within a goal for a score of 15-14 with 4:36 remaining. Just over a minute later, Gabi Mitchell of LTU found Huebner for the equalizer to even the score at 15 with 3:31 remaining. Lorna Fowles of SCAD made two of her 16 saves in the closing minutes of regulation to force overtime.

The Bees won the opening draw control in overtime, however, Acluche made a stick save to give Lawrence Tech the possession. On the Blue Devils first offensive possession of the extra period, Mitchell found Smythe cutting in front of the cage for the man-up game-winning goal as Lawrence Tech captured the 16-15 win.

Bella Burke led the way for Lawrence Tech with four goals, 14 draw controls, three ground balls, and a pair of caused turnovers. Smythe finished with five goals, while Hannah Huebner notched four goals. Sydney Robinson dished out six assists to go along with seven draw controls. Anabelle Acluche made 11 saves in the win.

Clarke Haas has led the way for SCAD with an NAIA Tournament record of nine goals in the game, while Aly De Caro finished with three goals, two assists and three ground balls. De Caro finished the tournament with an NAIA record of 21 points. Lorne Fowles made 17 saves between the pipes, which tied the NAIA record for saves in a tournament game. Annise Berkeley finished with two points and scooped five draw controls in the game.


2023 NAIA All-Tournament Team

Tournament MVP – Bella Burke, Lawrence Tech (Mich.)

Bella Ricchiazzi, Cumberlands (Ky.)

Alaina Smythe, Lawrence Tech (Mich.)

Clarke Haas, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)

Kaylen Moore, Benedictine (Kan.)

Bella Burke, Lawrence Tech (Mich.)

Taila Myers, Keiser (Fla.)

Aly De Caro, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)

Caroline Karr, Missouri Baptist

Syd McHale, Reinhardt (Ga.)

Jocelyn Vander Zwaag, Lawrence Tech (Mich.)

Leanne Windon, Life (Ga.)

Lorna Fowles, SCAD Savannah (Ga.)


Championship Information

women's lacrosse


 May 1-4, 2024
Savannah, Ga.