A last-minute attempt to send the Colonials into overtime against Massachusetts failed Sunday, when GW could not find the back of the net on a free position shot with 11 seconds left.
Although GW trailed the Minutewomen 10-8 with one minute left of play, the team’s intensity never wavered, head coach Tara Hannaford said.
Sophomore midfielder Rachel Mia scored with 47 seconds left, and the team wasted no time bringing the ball back to its offensive end. But GW’s next two shot attempts were unsuccessful, and the contest ended in a 10-9 defeat for the Colonials.
“We never gave up. We worked really hard the entire game and really challenged UMass, and I’m proud of that and how hard we worked,” Hannaford said.
GW scored first, but Massachusetts responded quickly, and both teams alternated shots over the first 15 minutes of play. The Minutewomen pulled ahead in the latter part of the first half, and went into the break leading GW 7-3.
The Colonials entered into the second half hoping to minimize turnovers and fouls, Hannaford said. GW had seven fouls and 11 turnovers in the first half. In the second, they rose to 15 fouls, but reduced their number of turnovers slightly, to eight.
Still, the Colonials doubled their number of draw controls in the second half, which helped energize the team as it gained momentum, Hannaford said.
“In the first half, we weren’t attacking and weren’t really playing the possession game. In the second half, we started going to the goal more, and were able to switch it up in the back of the net,” she said.
After watching Massachusetts go on a scoring run in the first half, GW was able to come back in the second with a run of its own. Sophomore midfielder Allie Rash scored 10 minutes into the half, tying the game at eight. Junior midfielder Lindsey DiAntonio, senior attack Nicole Lacey and Mia also contributed goals that closed the gap.
But Massachusetts responded quickly, bringing the score to 10-8 with roughly five minutes left to play. As the Minutewomen attempted to run out the clock, GW maintained its determination, and a clear from senior goalkeeper Jess Hicks led to Mia’s goal in the last minute of play, her 21st of the season.
Although the Colonials were unable to score again, Hannaford said she was proud of the team for continuing to challenge the Minutewomen, who beat GW 17-3 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 championship last season.
“It was just a good, physical lacrosse game. Our kids played really well in terms of their effort and their hard work and almost pulled out a very good win,” Hannaford said.