Lacrosse drops home opener in battle with East Carolina

Media Credit: Dean Whitelaw | Photographer

Freshman midfielder Tori Hampton runs with the ball during Friday's game against East Carolina.

Lacrosse kept East Carolina at bay for the first 30 minutes of play Friday before succumbing to a second-half rally by the Pirates.

The Pirates (3-1) defeated the Colonials (0-2) 10–9 after East Carolina outscored GW 6–4 in the second half of the Colonials’ home-opening game.

“To be honest, we lost the game”, head coach Tracy Coyne said. “They played well but I think if we would’ve stuck to the game plan and been a little more composed, forced them to do more things under pressure in the transition, and forced more turnovers – I think we probably would’ve won.”

Junior midfielder Aidan Cage amassed a career-high four goals in the game and freshman midfielder Tori Hampton garnered three goals along with two assists to bolster the Colonials’ offense. The Colonials had 28 shots find the frame in the contest.

The defense remained stout throughout the game, holding East Carolina to 16 shots on goal and causing 15 turnovers.

“Defensively in the second half we really stepped up and did some good things,” Coyne said. “You have to give them credit.”

Despite the loss, the contest proved to be thrilling. The Colonials and the Pirates swapped leads six times throughout the match, which also saw six ties.

“The whole game was just inch by inch, back and forth, so it was definitely a really exciting game,” junior defender and captain Caroline Kiernan said.

The Colonials had an energetic start, scoring within the first two minutes of the game and extending their lead 3–0 after nearly four minutes of play. But ECU did not trail by much for long.

After an explosive back and forth action, the Pirates notched three unanswered goals to tie the game 4–4 with 6:26 to play before halftime. But Cage netted her second goal with five minutes left in the half to put GW in front once more 5–4 heading into the locker room.

“In the first half, we came out really strong in the first 10 minutes which is really crucial and we were playing as a unit on attack and the defense,” Kiernan said. “We possessed the ball really well and we were playing more calm but still at a fast pace.”

The Pirates came out strong during the second half and promptly leveled the score 5–5. Less than two minutes later, Cage responded with another goal of her own to restore GW’s lead 6–5 with about 25 minutes of play left before the final whistle.

But the Colonials began to falter as the rest of the half progressed.

The Pirates mounted a quick two-goal rally to take the lead for the first time in the game 7–6 with 16:34 left in the game.

GW never managed to recover its lead but remained neck-and-neck with the Pirates, going punch-for-punch with East Carolina to tie the score three times but failing to get over the hump.

East Carolina buried the game-winning goal with two minutes left to play, and a last-ditch effort by the Colonials fell short.

“We shot well in the beginning and I think we started forcing things,” Coyne said. “We were shooting right at the goalie instead of placing our shots. So that was a big difference.”

GW returns to action Sunday at Mount Vernon Field when the Colonials host Radford at 2 p.m.

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