After lacrosse led 7–6 at the break Saturday afternoon, VCU freshman midfielder Keriann McTavish gave her team its first lead of the second half with a free position shot to the back of the net with 11 minutes remaining on the clock.
Following the longest scoring drought of the game, McTavish beat GW’s netminder on another shot – extending the VCU advantage to 14–12 and eliminating the Colonials’ momentum with less than four minutes to play.
The Rams (6-8, 2-4 A-10) didn’t allow a comeback as they defeated GW (2-11, 1-5 A-10) 15–13 on Senior Day to even up the all-time series at 1-1 after the Colonials found the upper hand last season.
“For us as the coaching staff it is disappointing that we can’t find a way to tap into that potential and help them break through,” head coach Tracy Coyne said.
The loss extended GW’s losing streak to five games for the second time this year and sinks the Colonials’ record to second-worst in the Atlantic 10.
Despite the team’s struggles, Coyne said she was proud of how her team has kept games close – now dropping three consecutive games by a margin of only two goals.
“We have been competing, which is really positive. I think that is a step forward for the program,” she said. “One of the goals of the season was to leave it better than we found it.”
Coyne said that the team kept playing at full energy until the final whistle and their motivation didn’t drop despite the disadvantage on the scoreboard.
“When I called the last timeout I think the team was really invested and committed to the strategy,” she said. “They went out and gave it their all. I think they were working to make plays and played to win.”
The Colonials were outmatched by both a strong Rams defense and an impressive individual effort by VCU redshirt sophomore midfielder Sky Hyatt.
GW put pressure on the Rams defense in the first half, forcing VCU’s goaltender to make several difficult stops.
After halftime, VCU pushed back and outscored the Colonials by three on eight more shots while GW was unable to maintain a consistent offense.
Hyatt led the Rams’ offensive display throughout the day, scoring a game-high six goals and constantly causing trouble for the Colonials defense.
“In the second half, from an attacking standpoint, shot selection wasn’t the greatest,” Coyne said. “From a defensive standpoint, I think we needed to stop [Hyatt] because six goals is a lot.”
The game started with GW possession, but Hyatt was quickly able to give VCU a 1–0 lead.
GW brought the score to 3–1 after goals by senior midfielder Shea Cassidy and senior attackers Michaela Lynch and Cassidy Shollenberger in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
The remaining 20 minutes of the first half were back and forth with the score knotted up at 4–4, 5–5 and 6–6 and a slight momentum advantage to the Colonials.
The Rams scored less than a minute into the second half – tying the game at seven – but conceded two straight goals to Cassidy and Shollenberger.
GW held that lead for more than 10 minutes and didn’t allow VCU to take the advantage until McTavish’s goal late in the period.
The Colonials remained hopeful for a comeback after a goal from junior midfielder Brooke Sands with three minutes to play, but were finally shut down after VCU freshman midfielder Jessica Del Rossi scored the game’s final goal.