Women’s lacrosse falls in heartbreaker end

For four players on the women’s lacrosse team, Friday’s 18-10 Senior Day loss to Richmond was not only how they ended their season – it was how they ended their careers.

After a back-and-forth first half, the Spiders used a late rally to overcome the Colonials, handing GW a home loss in their last game of the 2011 season.

“It makes it a pretty emotional day. You kind of carry that over to the field,” senior Liz Hoffman said. “Most of us have played since we were 5 or 6 years old, so it’s kind of the end of an era.”

–At first, it seemed the Colonials (6-11, 3-4 A-10) found motivation in the day’s emotion. GW opened play with a burst of intensity, charging the ball down the field, where junior Megan Seidman recorded her first of four goals for the game. Senior Mia Breheny followed suit with the first of her two goals on the day, giving GW an early 2-0 lead.

The defense, buoyed by a strong offensive front, kept Richmond from scoring for the first 16 minutes of the half. But as soon as the Spiders netted their first goal, the Richmond offense found its groove, ending the half on a 6-2 run, and the Colonials were two down at halftime.

“We played really well during the first half,” head coach Tara Hannaford said. “We executed what we wanted to do in terms of being aggressive and setting doubles early. In the second half, we just weren’t all on the same page.”

Richmond opened second-half play with a continuation of its offensive dominance, tacking on two more goals just ten seconds apart. Over the course of the second half, the Spiders went on two 4-0 scoring streaks, and the Colonials were unable to answer the onslaught.

Despite GW adding six goals of its own in the second half, Richmond doubled that number, adding 12 goals for the 18-10 final tally. After a tight first half, the Spiders’ post-halftime push cemented the fate of GW’s season.

“Leaving it all on the field was one of the main themes going into the game. It was going back and forth until the beginning of the second half, so it could have gone either way,” Breheny said. “It’s not going to hit us until we’re not coming back next year.”

When the Colonials do come back next season, they’ll be missing four key leaders, Hannford said. It was the seniors that taught their teammates to step up and guide the team, she pointed out, and it was the seniors that pushed the program to reach its potential.

“They meant the world,” Hannaford said simply. “It’s going to be really tough to replace them.”

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