After three consecutive shot attempts, the Colonials were struggling to find the back of the net before the first half came to an end. But then, senior Nicole Lacey was able to net her first goal of the day, tying the game 5-5 with a minute and 30 seconds left in the first.
From there, Lacey kept up the momentum for the women’s lacrosse team, scoring her second goal 32 seconds into the second half. This energy helped push GW to its second consecutive win at home, this time taking an 11-9 victory over Bucknell.
“We were really excited to play today because we came off of a win (10-6) against George Mason,” Lacey said.
GW entered the game by netting the first score of the contest. But a minute later, the Bison replied with two goals of their own, which would foreshadow the close first half that was about to come.
Down by two goals, the importance of winning every draw control became apparent. And the Colonials did that, establishing crucial possessions which led to a 3-0 run with 15 minutes left in the half. Freshman Olivia Boudreau started the run with an unassisted goal, followed by junior Lindsey DiAntonio and sophomore midfielder Allie Rash.
“In the first half, we were battling with a lot of 50/50 calls and the draws were coming to us but we just weren’t holding the ball,” head coach Tara Hannaford said. “We just needed to have clean pickups.”
Once again, a sense of urgency entered the Bison, and they got out on a 3-0 run of their own, retaking the lead 4-5.
In hopes of entering the second half tied or ahead, Lacey was able to net a free position shot. Lacey ended the game with a game-high three goals for GW, establishing herself as a crucial component of the team’s offense.
Defensively, the Colonials were able to cause and capitalize off of Bison turnovers. Leading the way was senior goalkeeper Jess Hicks, who ended the game with nine saves.
“We knew they would send a lot of cutters,” Hannaford said. “So we wanted to make sure we were really sticking stick to stick with them and being physical with the coverage.”
GW was able to control the second half’s tempo after Lacey and sophomore midfielder Jamie Bumgardner netted a goal each. Bumgardner’s score came off of a turnover she caused, using a breakaway run for a one-on-one challenge between her and the Bison goalie. Over the day, Bumgardner tallied a total of two goals.
“We had some great looks and our leaders stepped up. They did an outstanding job on that,” Hannaford said.
After junior Jordy Bathras netted the eighth goal of the game, one of her two goals, Bucknell picked up the intensity, leading to a series of fouls but ultimately scoring their first goal of the second half.
GW continued to play aggressively but with patience and were able to net three goals over six minutes of play. The Bison were down by five points (11-6) but were able to go on another 3-0 run in hopes of closing the gap.
But GW held Bucknell off down the stretch, fending off the final run for an eventual Colonial victory.
“I think [the] attack did a really good job moving the ball and looking for each other. We had a lot of goals off of assists, which is something we really wanted to work for,” Lacey said.