Lacrosse recorded their first win of the season in their first home game of the year over American Tuesday afternoon.
The Colonials (1-3) never trailed and came out 11-9 victors over the Eagles (2-3) behind a hat trick from junior midfielder Amber Germer and two goals each from freshman midfielder Emily Mowbray and senior attacker Sophia Watkinson. The Colonials led 2-0 eight minutes into the game thanks to goals from Germer and senior midfielder Tori Hampton.
GW came out of the gates firing on all cylinders in their first game in front of their home fans since March 4, 2020.
Germer opened the scoring 2:18 into the game off a feed from senior attacker Maddy O’Brien after sustained possession in the offensive zone. Hampton slotted one into the bottom corner six minutes later, forcing American to take a timeout.
The Eagles held their own for the rest of the first quarter and started to flip the momentum towards the end of the quarter. This culminated in a goal from graduate student attacker Emma Vinall off a free-position shot 29 seconds before the horn to cut the deficit in half.
Watkinson picked up her first goal of the afternoon with 10:29 remaining in the second quarter off a free position shot following sustained GW possession. This slowed the American run, but the Eagles soon responded. Graduate student midfielder Kendall Goldblum blew past her defender twice in the span of a minute on nearly identical moves to tie the game at 3-3.
GW once again pulled ahead on an aggressive Mowbray drive into the heart of the defense and shot into the top corner with 2:50 left in the first half. But American wouldn’t let the Colonials pull away and responded less than a minute later with a wrap-around finish from freshman attacker Maddy Spratt off a pass from senior midfielder Hali Sibilia.
The end of the second quarter saw a team benefit from a free-position shot in the waning seconds of play. This time it was Germer who took advantage of the free position for GW, giving them a 5-4 halftime lead.
The Colonials finished the half with a 10-to-six advantage in ground balls and a 6-5 advantage in draw controls. Throughout the first half and the rest of the game, Hampton showed off her speed and athleticism. The senior captain excelled bringing the ball from one zone to the next, allowing the Colonials to transition from offense to defense.
O’Brien opened the scoring just under three minutes into the second half on a pass from senior midfielder Kendall Lambert to give GW a 6-4 lead. But less than a minute later, Goldblum cut the Colonials lead to 6-5 on a nearly identical goal to her previous two to give her a hat trick on the day.
After GW went man-up, Germer was able to convert off a feed from Mowbray with 9:46 left in the quarter to give the Colonials a two-goal cushion once again. The momentum continued to swing toward GW as the Eagles got a green card for “too many men on the field.”
But AU sophomore goalie Mary Alice Collins came up with a big stop on Lambert to stem the GW run. Watkinson eventually broke through and put one past Collins to give GW an 8-5 lead, their biggest lead of the day.
Although the Eagles did what they’d done all day and quickly responded to bring the lead back down to two off a goal from senior midfielder Stefanie Walsh while the team was man-up.
American finished the quarter strong with two quick goals in the final 26 seconds. Vinall scored the first while the second was from junior attacker Emma Hare.
Both goals came in a similar fashion, off a feed from Spratt from the X. Going into the final quarter, the score was knotted at 8.
Both teams struggled offensively at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but GW did well to turn the Eagles over and not allow them to get a rhythm going. GW was knocking on the door for a few minutes before Mowbray finally scored from a free position shot with 8:49 remaining to make it 9-8.
Although American had a few chances to tie things up, the GW defense held strong. With 4:11 left, senior midfielder Alana Greene gave GW some breathing room after she cut to the goal, received a pass from Hampton and put the chance away.
But 12 seconds later, Spratt made it 10-9 off a feed from Vinall on the fast break. But following a GW timeout with 2:42 left, American opted to leave the net empty so they could play more aggressive defense and turn GW over.
Lambert was able to put a chance away after receiving a pass from Mowbray, putting the Colonials back up 11-9, which is how it would stay.
Freshman goalie Mia Caro came up big multiple times for the Colonials and finished with eight saves in her first career game.
GW will continue their short home stand on Monday when they take on Gardner Webb at 3 p.m. before heading to Georgetown the following Saturday.
This article appeared in the March 7, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.