Lacrosse: Tribe shoots up standings after weekend sweeep

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April 21, 2009

1:39 AM

Behind a relentless offensive attack featuring 37 goals in two games, the College of William and Mary (9-6, 5-1 CAA) swept its weekend matches against Drexel University (7-7, 0-5 CAA) and no. 20 Hofstra Univeristy (9-6, 3-3 CAA). With the wins, the Tribe is assured of a spot in the CAA tournament.

The Tribe fired 35 shots on goal against Drexel Friday en route to an 18-12 victory. For Head Coach Christine Halfpenny, it was her first career victory against the Dragons.

“The last two years, we were on the short end [of the scoreboard],” Halfpenny said. “We weren’t taking them lightly this year.”

Although the CAA’s last-place team was able to stay within two of the College at halftime, the Dragons had a hard time keeping the conference’s top offensive unit, averaging 13.5 goals-per-game, out of their zone. The pressure forced Drexel goalkeeper Lauren LaBella to make 13 saves in the first half alone.

“All year, one of the things we’ve been focusing on is shooting to score,” sophomore attacker Maggie Anderson said.

In the second half, the College went on a seven-goal run to break open the game. After junior attacker Mary Zulty put the eighth goal of the half in the net, LaBella was pulled.

Sophomore attacker Ashley Holofcener led the team with five goals, while Anderson led both squads with six points (four goals, two assists).

Sunday afternoon’s battle against a tough Hofstra squad was more competitive, but the Pride could not halt the Tribe’s offensive surges. Throwing 28 shots to the net, the College again put forth a strong effort in the second half to top the visiting Pride 19-12 on Senior Day.

Similar to Friday night, the visitors hung with the Tribe for the first 30 minutes. Hofstra’s stiff defense denied the Tribe quality scoring opportunities, yet the Pride tallied only two goals. The Tribe was able to take a 5-2 lead into the break.

Both offenses exploded in the second half. However, the Pride never led in the game and Drexel did not get within one goal of the Tribe after the 21:51 mark of the second half.

Two free-position goals midway through the second half from senior midfielder Clare Dennis and sophomore attacker Grace Golden increased the Tribe’s lead to four at 14-10. Twenty-seven seconds later, senior attacker Julia Martin found junior attacker Katie Rees all alone to the left of the Pride net. Rees spun to net her 17th goal of the season at 13:06, opening the Tribe’s lead to five and the College never looked back.

For the third time in four games, Golden led the Tribe with five goals and one assist. However, according to Halfpenny, the game was for her hardworking group of six seniors, who were all honored prior to the start of the game.

“It was their day. They’ve never beaten Hofstra before, so it was good to see all of them perform well and win,” Halfpenny said.

Leading the seniors was Martin who netted three goals and added four assists.

“We’ve been trying to have this feeling [of winning on Senior Day] all year. Now we need to take this to our second season,” Martin said.

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