By SAM MENCARINI
Mary Washington’s women’s lacrosse team battled 12th ranked Catholic University this past Monday, March 28, and fell to the Cardinals 12-8. The loss dropped the 17th ranked Eagles to 7-5 on the season.
The game started slowly, as both teams fought for ball possession. The Eagle’s offense got rolling with two goals from junior Catherine Kennedy, the first assisted by junior Allie Kimmelman, and the second set up by junior Lauren Callison. The first goal came from a pass behind the net to a cutting Kennedy as she sprinted across the center. The second came from a brilliant wrap-around shot on Kennedy’s part, which also started behind the goal.
The Eagles offense was centered on ball movement, and UMW’s primary move was to work the ball behind the goal and then find the open attacker. The Eagles jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, and the chaotic offense system worked throughout the game. However, the Cardinals didn’t stay down for long.
Catholic Midfielder Mary Robinson responded to her team’s two-goal deficit, as she scored three consecutive goals. Eagles head coach Dana Hall tried to slow things down by calling timeout, but the Cardinals added another goal to make it four unanswered and take a 5-3 lead.
As intensity grew, the Eagles finally responded at the end of the period. UMW got two goals with under 1:05 to play before halftime, as Kimmelman and sophomore Keller Torrey found the back of the net to tie the game at 5-5.
“We came out strong in the first half. It was pretty evenly matched and the scoring went back and forth,” Torrey said. “The referees were making some pretty bad calls, not in our favor, but we did a great job of holding our composure and just playing out game.”
Torrey had two goals in the game, with her first coming off a spectacular one-timer with 35 seconds remaining in the half.
The second half started with the same intensity. Players from both teams received a yellow card throughout the half. UMW had no answer for the Cardinals Mary Swarthout, who was too quick for the Eagles’ defense and scored five of the seven Catholic goals in the second half. Two of Swarthout’s goals were unassisted and another goal came off a costly penalty caused by Mary Washington.
Catholic started the half by scoring three unanswered goals to retake the lead. The Eagles countered with goals from Callison and Torrey to cut the Cardinals lead to 8-7, but Catholic then went onto score four consecutive goals to increase their lead to a five goal advantage. UMW added one more goal on a Kimmelman score, but then the game turned into a defensive struggle, as the final nine minutes of game action was scoreless.
The Eagles won the turnover battle for the game, 17-19, but UMW was outshot 31-21 and lost ground balls 27-21. In the crucial second half where Catholic outscored Mary Washington 7-3, the Cardinals had 16 shots compared to just seven for the Eagles.
Though Mary Washington couldn’t pull out the win, the team is still optimistic about their performance.
“This game shows we can play with any team,” junior Julianne Huyett said. “We fought really hard. We’re always happy when we play as a team and we did.” Huyett started on defense for UMW.
The next home game for the Eagles is on Wednesday, April 6, against Christopher Newport University.