The University of Mary Washington women’s lacrosse team outscored Washington & Lee 8-1 in the second half en route to a 13-5 victory in Lexington Va. on Saturday.
Last year the Eagles lost to the Generals 18-17 in an overtime heartbreaker. The team went into the game on Saturday with vengeance.
“We were looking to redeem ourselves from last years loss but more importantly, we are not the same team we were last year,” said sophomore midfielder Maggie Nunn.
Head Coach Dana Hall added, “They are one of the top teams in the region and one of the top teams in their conference, we knew going into it, winning this game was important for us to secure and NCAA bid.”
Senior attack Lauren Callison and Nunn both scored within the first five minutes of the game. The Generals knotted it up with two of their own but they were answered the Eagles with three goals from Callison, senior attack Allie Kimmelman and sophomore midfielder Jenna Petrucelli. Washington & Lee scored two more before going into halftime; the Eagles led 5-4 at the midway point.
During the break, coach Hall made some adjustments to the way her team was playing. In the first half the Generals were attacking the goal one on one -three of the five goals were unassisted- instead of passing to open up shots.
Eagle defenders needed to slide early to create double teams and make attackers use their off hand to shoot. Furthermore, the team needed to prevent shots from being taken within the eight meter line. The Eagles might give up shots but they would not be quality shots.
Morale was also boosted. “Our coaches reminded us at half time that there was still a second half to be played and there was no way that we wanted the game to be close, we wanted a definitive win,” Nunn said.
After Washington and Lee tied the game two minutes into the second half, the Eagles found their rhythm and executed the plan. The Eagles wouldn’t allow another goal for the rest of the contest. Their defense was frustrating and junior goalkeeper Katherine Stiltz had six saves in the half.
Scoring was lead by Kimmelman who had three goals in the second half. Senior Catherine Kennedy and Callison also had two goals apiece.
The Eagles now sit at 7-2 on the season putting them thirteenth in the nation. Their only losses have come from first ranked Gettysburg College and second ranked Salisbury University.
Their next four games are all against Capital Athletic Conference opponents, two of whom happen to be nationally ranked.
Yet coach Hall is just taking it “One day at a time, saying focused on opponents and not looking ahead…we need to knock off teams one at a time and stay healthy,” she said.
Her players echo her message. “The CAC championship is the ultimate goal but as a team we recognize that it is one game at a time so right now the focus is on St. Mary’s,” said Nunn.
The team played St. Mary’s yesterday and disposed of the Seahawks 16-7, paced by junior midfielder Keller Torrey and Petrucelli’s five goals. They play against 16th ranked York College of Pennsylvania on Saturday in York, Pa.