After a hard-fought battle that spilled into overtime, the GW lacrosse team was unable to hold off Massachusetts, and fell in its second Atlantic-10 game, 8-9.
The attempted comeback from a tough first period was emblematic of the team’s performance this season.
A weak first half found the Colonials unable to score until almost halfway through, and they trailed the Minutewomen by three goals at the end of the period. Goals by freshman Audrey Joy, junior Katherine Sampson, and sophomore Mia Breheny put them at 3-6 when the buzzer sounded.
In the second half, four goals from senior Kristen Karsch put them back in the game; her final goal with a little more than a minute and a half left in the second period enabled the Colonials to tie up the game 8-8, and fight on in overtime. But the Colonials were unable to take the lead.
GW’s defense ultimately could not block the Minutewomen, who put the winning goal past senior Caitlin Garmen in the first overtime period. Garmen played well, making 10 saves in the game.
Karsch said she felt the team performed as well as they could after falling behind so quickly.
“Obviously we didn’t come out strong, we started off with a four goal deficit, but we had a lot of fight and we came back and put them into overtime,” Karsch said.
Despite scoring half of the team’s goals, Karsch was tough on her own performance.
“We didn’t win, so I guess I could have done better,” she said.
But first-year head coach Tara Hannaford was more forgiving
“They played good, smart lacrosse and I’m really proud of them for how they fought back and made it an overtime game.”
Fighting back is nothing new for the team. In many of their games, the Colonials seem to use the first period as a warm-up.
GW’s first A-10 game on Friday against La Salle was a strikingly similar comeback story. The Explorers were able to score three goals before the Colonials got on the scoreboard with 11 minutes left of the first half. GW won the game 13-7.
“I think the girls played with a tremendous amount of heart, but you can’t give up goals in the beginning, and that (has) ended up hurting us,” Hannaford.
The Colonials have been playing the role of the underdog not only in the first period, but in many of their games this season, taking on three top 15 schools since the season began.
“We play top opponents because we want to be a top team,” said Hannaford. “But we’d like to turn some of those one-goal losses into wins.”
That would help the team’s 3-7 record tremendously. This is the third one-goal loss the team has suffered this season, with several other losses featuring close scores.
Hannaford said she is still pleased with the team’s performance.
“In the beginning we didn’t take as good care of the ball as we needed to in the midfield, but overall the attack, the d, and the midfield played outstanding once we turned it on,” Hannaford said. “I’m just proud of how they came out. The attack looked good once we started clicking on all cylinders.”