It took only one minute and 51 seconds for the women’s lacrosse team to get its first goal of the season.
That score marked the beginning of a blowout victory over Howard. After trading goals with the Bison early in the first period, the Colonials eventually found their rhythm, exploding on a 10-0 run. GW never looked back en route to a commanding 22-5 victory.
That first-half scoring run gave the Colonials a solid 12-2 lead. Then, with only one second remaining in the half, senior Casey Disharoon zipped one in the net, making the halftime score 13-3. The Colonials were connecting on all cylinders offensively, quick to establish possession with an 11-5 advantage in draw controls. GW also took advantage of its free-position shots, going 2-4, compared to Howard’s zero attempts.
“We have a dynamic team in terms of people who can create,” head coach Tara Hannaford said. “So we look to exploit whatever the defense is giving us, whether it be 1v1’s, screens or feeding it inside.”
When the second period began, the Colonials got right back to where they left off, scoring the first two goals thanks to the play of senior attacker Megan Seidman, who delivered an assist on the first goal and then put the second one in herself. With the Bison players growing tired, relying on a roster only half the size of GW’s, the Colonials were able to end the game on a 4-0 run.
Overall, the Colonials completely controlled the tempo of the game. They out-shot the Bison 37-14 and successfully cleared the ball 11 of 13 times. Leading the way for the Colonials with six points off four goals and two assists was senior midfielder and returning 30-goal scorer Sarah Phillips. Seidman and sophomore Terasa Vassallo both followed behind with five points apiece, while also contributing four goals each were junior mid-fielder Soo Mee Yoon and freshman attacker Addi Bolin.
“The biggest thing on attack was moving the ball with speed and looking for wide open opportunities,” Hannaford said. “Defensively, putting pressure on was our focus; being strong defenders and anticipating the next move of the attack.”
GW’s defense completed the team’s domination of play, swarming the Bison attackers and leaving them 6-15 on clears for the game. Using their speed, the Colonials were able to prevent the Bison from getting close to the net, ultimately forcing them to commit 24 turnovers.
Getting the win for GW in her first career start was freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Jones. Before being pulled early in the second period, Jones had let only three goals between the pipes, and posted two saves. Of her first start as a Colonial, Jones said it was exciting to finally put all the team’s hard work into practice in a competition.
“The defense is always great communicating with me and with each other,” Jones said. “We all go out there with a great attitude, so communication and a good attitude are two great things to have out there on defense.”
After this win, the Colonials look to push forward, carrying their success into A-10 play. After sitting on the cusp of the four-team league tournament at fifth place for the last two seasons, GW is determined to rise to the top this year. To do that, Hannaford said the team will have to continue to grow both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
“We have to be consistent, on attack, on defense and on the midfield, and make sure that we’re always sticking to our guiding principles,” said Hannaford. “If we can stay consistent we’ll get over that fifth place hump.”