This post was written by Hatchet staff writers Ellee Watson and Rob Bartnichak.
With major Atlantic 10 tournament implications on the line, lacrosse won back-to-back games for the first time this season, knocking off Duquesne and St. Bonaventure over the weekend to stay in the running for a playoff berth.
The Colonials are in a three-way tie for fourth place with La Salle and Duquesne in the A-10 conference. The top four make the playoffs, and GW has two more conference games left against No. 3 George Mason and No. 1 Massachusetts.
“I think we’re in a good position,” head coach Tracy Coyne said. “If we beat George Mason we control our destiny, we’re in. We won’t have to rely on anyone else.”
The Colonials celebrated Senior Day in its last home game of the season Sunday, pulling out a crucial 16-10 win against St. Bonaventure.
GW honored eight seniors including co-captains Rachel Mia and Jamie Bumgardner who lead the A-10 in goals and assists, respectively. Mia scored five goals against St. Bonaventure for 43 goals. Bumgardner earned a goal and two assists to lead the conference with 27 assists this season.
In addition to the co-captains, the Colonials honored seniors Jacqui Stevens, Jenn Seitz, Rachel Quinn, Allie Rash, Casey Dell’Isola and Mackenzie Jones.
“These seniors, if we make the A-10 tournament, they’ll be the first class to make that three times in their career. I think that’s a great legacy,” Coyne said.
GW and St. Bonaventure played a well-matched game in the first half. Mia scored less than two minutes into the game, and the Bonnies answered 40 seconds later, setting the pattern for the first half when momentum shifted back and forth.
With three minutes left in the first half, the Colonials scored two quick goals to take the lead into halftime 8-6 and carried the momentum into the second half outscoring the Bonnies 7-4.
“I think in the first half we wanted it to be a little easier, we weren’t placing our shots,” Coyne said. “Defensively we were going for the big play instead of playing solid team D, so I think we cleaned those things up in the second half.”
Although the seniors lead the Colonials in points this season, the sophomores earned five goals against the Bonnies. Bailey Forcier scored four goals, and Michaela Lynch earned a goal and two assists for her service to Mia and junior Hallie Walker.
Freshman Jocelyn Donohue also scored her first career goal. Starting senior goalkeeper Mackenzie Jones made five saves against the Bonnies for 90 saves this season.
To get the weekend started, the Colonials beat Duquesne 14-13 in overtime Friday at the GW Lacrosse Field.
Sophomore Shea Cassidy scored the game winning goal with nine seconds remaining in overtime. Cassidy scored three goals in the game, bringing her season total to eight.
“We were running a play but they shut it down,” Cassidy said. “I cut to the middle, it wasn’t marked up so I just caught it and placed it.”
Cassidy’s three goals tied senior and leading goal scorer Rachel Mia for the team lead. Sophomore Michaela Lynch scored two goals and added two assists. Senior Jamie Bumgardner scored one goal and added two assists, which broke Sarah Phillips’ all-time program assist record of 101.
With 26 minutes left on the clock, the Colonials trailed Duquesne 6-11. GW went on to score four goals in a row to bring it within one and finally took a 13-12 lead with 4:58 left to play. However, Duquesne tied it with 31 seconds on the clock to force overtime.
“We just needed that little bit of something, little bit of intangibles to put us over the top,” Coyne said. “We know what it feels like to lose so I think we starting playing to win and it changed the dynamic.”
Coyne credited the second half offensive charge to an adjustment made when the team was down by five goals. She said GW started playing at a higher tempo, which led to higher percentage shots.
“It was a do or die game,” Cassidy said. “Coach called a timeout and we started winning the draw, and we went off and scored off most of them.”