Before the lacrosse team’s Friday home matchup against La Salle, the players of GW’s women’s lacrosse team were laughing, dancing and exchanging high-fives. The Colonials’ behavior was replicated after their 16-8 win.
Two days later, GW’s jovial attitude seemed to be gone. The Colonials led visiting Massachusetts for almost 55 of the game’s 60 minutes but fell 11-10.
The loss ended GW’s season, keeping them out of the Atlantic 10 championship next weekend at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex. The team lost five games by one point en route to a 6-11 spring record.
At the beginning of the season, the Colonials were hoping to capitalize on last year’s successful finish. GW went 13-5 and lost in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament to Duquesne in Richmond, Va.
The Colonials scored the first three goals of Sunday’s game and took a 5-2 lead into halftime on two goals by junior Laura Hostetler, and one each by sophomore Haley McDonough, senior Lauren Bower and sophomore Laura Wunk. Both teams came out aggressive in the second half, scoring a combined four goals in the half’s first two minutes.
Massachusetts maintained the frantic pace throughout the half and overwhelmed GW’s defense. Led by freshman Kaitlyn McCormick’s four tallies, the Minutewomen scored six of the game’s last seven goals, including the game winner by senior Kerri Connerty.
“I think they just came out and really wanted it, and I think we just started playing a little conservative,” GW head coach Chrissy Lombard said. “We had a lot of shots that we should have finished, especially in the first half, and I think not scoring those really hurt us.”
Senior Annie Howley and Hostetler each scored three goals for the Colonials.
Hostetler was also instrumental in GW’s win over La Salle on Friday. Her five goals and three assists led the team, while senior Colleen Schmidt netted four goals and two assists.”We knew we had to have fun,” sophomore midfielder Lindsay Melvin said. “(In practice, we worked on) how to support each other on the field. It just worked out really well.”
Like against the Minutewomen, the Colonials set the tone early, opening the game on a 6-0 run. They led 10-1 at halftime.
GW capitalized on a weak Explorers team and out-shot the visitors 38-21. The Colonials also controlled 16 of 25 draws and forced La Salle into 20 turnovers. GW held La Salle’s leading scorer, sophomore attacker Emily Bonczek (39 goals coming into the game), to just a single goal.
Lombard gave everyone on her team some playing time, including sophomore goalie Teddi Shihadeh, her first significant minutes of the year.
“(Today) we played our game and had fun doing it,” Lombard said.
Though the team failed to make the A-10 Tournament this year, they are graduating just three players, and Lombard said that she believes the additional year of experience will put the team in a position to make a run next year.
“(This team) always played hard,” she said. “It’s disappointing in that we had so many games, like this one, that we lost by a goal, but it’s also promising for next year because (the younger players) are going to learn to be a factor in close games.”