Lacrosse trailed La Salle for a majority of the first half Friday, but an offensive push overcame the Explorers’ defense and earned GW its second Atlantic 10 win of the year.
The Colonials (9-2, 2-1 A-10) defeated the Explorers (4-7, 0-3 A-10) 16–13 at the Mount Vernon Field.
“I said ‘just relax and play our game,’” head coach Tracy Coyne said. “We just had to settle and make some plays.”
The win continues the hot season for the Colonials, who enjoyed a program-best non-conference record heading into A-10 play.
Sophomore midfielder Katie Quinn tallied four assists and freshman attacker Ionna Mantzouratos netted a career-high four goals to power GW’s offense. A total of seven Colonials found the back of the net in the game, and freshman goalkeeper Jenna Oler matched her season-high with 17 saves.
“The team at practice, they make me better,” Mantzouratos said. “They challenge me in a way that I’ve never been challenged before.”
La Salle started the contest strong when Explorers sophomore midfielder Mikki Raymond and freshman midfielder Emily Johnston both scored to put their team up 2–0 in the first two minutes. Soon after, freshman midfielder Bridget Rusky found the back of the net to put the Explorers up by three.
Senior attacker Camayrn Kerns and sophomore attacker Morgan McDonnell responded for the Colonials, scoring back-to-back goals with 22 minutes left in the first half and bringing GW within one goal on the scoreboard.
After La Salle scored twice more, GW found its rhythm offensively. The Colonials tallied three unanswered goals in a rally led by senior attacker Jocelyn Donohue and Quinn to tie the score at five, with 11 minutes left in the frame.
Just before the halftime whistle, the Colonials took a 9–8 lead – their first of the game.
They continued their offensive push in the opening five minutes of the second half, when Mantzouratos scored and then assisted Donohue to go ahead by three.
The Colonials’ advantage was cut down by slick passing from La Salle that led to an Explorers finish. Four minutes later, they struck again to bring GW’s lead down to one with 16 minutes remaining.
The Explorers then went on a 15-minute scoring drought as the Colonials assumed full control of the game’s momentum. GW’s defense stepped up and denied any threat from the Explorers – who were previously excelling at finding chances on quick counter-attacks – during the stretch.
“They’re very effective fast-breaking,” Coyne said. “I think we started bodying up and being a little more aggressive that way and I think it helped.”
The Colonials led by as many as five with less than one minute remaining before La Salle chipped in two final desperation goals in the span of 30 seconds.
GW will be back in action Sunday when the Colonials head to Richmond to take on the Spiders at 1 p.m.