In a dominating display of passing, stick-handling and team defense, the women’s lacrosse team thumped the University of California Golden Bears Wednesday, 18-6.
Senior co-captain Colleen Schmidt (five goals) and junior attacker Laura Hostetler (four goals) led the Colonials (4-6) to victory at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex. The Colonials’ Atlantic 10 schedule starts Sunday will a home game against the Richmond Spiders, currently ranked seventh in the nation.
“I don’t mind playing them (for our first A-10) game, because we just got off a big win,” Schmidt said. GW topped the Spiders in Richmond last year, 11-6.
GW will host the A-10 Tournament, to be played May 5-7; to qualify, the Colonials must finish with one of the four best in-league records in the conference. Beating the highly touted Spiders will give GW a huge boost in both their record and confidence.
“(Winning Sunday) is going to require us to play our A-game,” assistant coach Rebecca Ferrell said. “We have to come out fighting hard.”
Goals have been replete over the Colonials’ last three games. GW scored 17 in a win against Davidson (N.C.) last Friday and fired 10 more into the back of the net in a one goal loss last Sunday to William and Mary (Va.).
This weekend’s contest with Richmond could be the turning point the rest of the season hinges on. With two wins in their last three games, GW has outscored their opponents 45-26. They said they are in the right frame of mind to tackle Richmond.
“Yesterday was a great practice; everyone looked excited to be out here,” head coach Chrissy Lombard said of her team’s practice on Tuesday. “There’s a big rivalry (with us). I just want to make sure the intensity is high.”
Several key players have endured injuries the last few games. Sophomore attacker Laura Wunk sat out Wednesday’s game after suffering a concussion in the second half of the game against William and Mary. Hayley McDonough, a sophomore midfielder, has battled through shin soreness since the second game of the season, and she too did not participate against Cal.
“I’m hoping to (practice) on Friday,” McDonough said. “I’d rather be 100 percent for Sunday then (to play today and be) 50 percent today and 50 percent on Sunday.”
In the first half on Wednesday, senior co-captain Lauren Bower took an opponent’s stick to the face
Wednesday’s game started close; it was a 2-2 tie after 11 minutes elapsed. The Colonials then shifted into another gear, posting a 10-1 run. Schmidt scored four of her five goals in the first half, three of which were off of devastating rolls (spin moves). GW led 10-3 at halftime.
Hostetler set the pace in the second period. She started the half on the bench, discussing strategy with Ferrell. When she entered the game, she relentlessly attacked the goal, scoring twice, and took a stick to the head.
“Most girls come in high (with their sticks to block the shot), so it’s better to shoot low,” Hostetler said. “And all my (missed) shots went high today, so I better shoot it low.”
GW controlled 21 of the 27 draws during the game, constantly putting Cal in a defensive mindset. Their passing was ample and accurate. On a number of occasions, the likes of Schmidt, Hostetler and freshmen midfielder Meghan Cratty split two defenders to attack the net with precision footwork and stick handling. Defensively, the Colonials thwarted the Cal attack, allowing the fewest goals of any game this season.