The GW women’s lacrosse team kicked off Atlantic 10 conference play on a high note Friday, upsetting No. 19 (Coaches Poll) Richmond 8-7 under soggy conditions at Mount Vernon Field.
The win is the Colonials’ (4-5, 1-0 A-10) first against a ranked team in their three seasons as a varsity program. The players said they hope the win will put the program on the map.
“This is the biggest win in the history of the program, the biggest win ever,” junior Jamie Lee said.
During their previous two meetings, junior co-captain Jenny Heisler said the Colonials were “intimidated” by Richmond’s hard nose style of play.
“We lost badly to them in the past,” she said. “They were confident.”
The game-winning goal came with 5:40 remaining and the score tied at seven. Freshman Laura Hostetler slashed towards the left side of the goal and hurled the ball into the net to put GW ahead.
After a key save by freshman goalkeeper Emily Fortunato (eight saves), the Colonials proceeded to keep possession for the final two and a half minutes of the game.
Richmond (4-5, 1-1 A-10) struck first just under two and a half minutes into the game on a free position shot by Kristen Habicht. The Spiders’ Ashley Friend and Caroline McGuire proceeded to score the next two goals, putting GW in a 3-0 hole.
Lee put GW on the board nine minutes into the game and junior Heidi Mayer added another goal to cut the Colonials’ deficit to 3-2 with 17:59 left in the first half.
But Friend scored three unanswered goals to give the Spiders a 6-2 advantage with 6:53 left in the first. Despite the four-goal disadvantage, the Colonials slowly began to chip away at Richmond’s lead, beginning with goals from Lee and Hostetler to end the half.
With momentum in the second half, GW closed the gap to 6-5 on an unassisted goal by Hostetler, then tied the game at six on a free position shot by Heisler with 7:20 left in the second half.
Heisler scored GW’s fifth unanswered goal to put the Colonials ahead 7-6 on a feed from Lee.
“I tried to cut and Jamie got me the ball. The adrenaline carried me to the goal,” Heisler said.
After Heisler’s goal, Richmond scored their only goal of the half on a free position shot by Caroline McGuire to even the score at 7-7.
The Colonials will face Longwood University at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Farmville, Va.