As time ran out at the end of the first half Wednesday, it appeared the game between No. 16 William and Mary and No. 8 Virginia was all but over. The College held a commanding lead, and was able to score at will against the Cavaliers, who didn’t seem able to muster up enough offense to make a second-half comeback.
Thirty minutes and nine Virginia goals later, the College (3-2) left Charlottesville with a heartbreaking 14-13 defeat at the hands of the Cavaliers (4-3). The loss brings the Tribe’s three game winning streak to a close.
“We came out well in the first half and played like we know how to play,” senior midfielder Grace Golden said. “In the second half, they really fought back. We plan to really learn from this game.”
U.Va. attackers Charlie Finnigan and Josie Owen combined for six second-half goals, as the Cavaliers completely shut down the Tribe in the second half on both sides of the ball. Virginia’s 9-2 run in the second was enough to overcome a formidable Tribe advantage.
It seemed like the Tribe might withstand the Virginia onslaught until 5 minutes, 9 seconds remaining in the contest, when U.Va. midfielder Ainsley Baker scored on a free position shot to knot the score at 13-13. Owen then scored with 2:46 remaining to take the lead and cap a remarkable Virginia comeback.
“They were able to come up with a lot of draws and really take it to us defensively,” Golden said.
“Offensively, we just made a few mistakes that are easy fixes.”
Even with Owen’s goal, the College had enough time to attempt to even the score late in the game. Junior midfielder Stephanie Steinweg was awarded a free position shot with 2:04 remaining, but her attempt was deflected by Virginia goalkeeper Kim Kolarik.
After scoring at will in the first half, the College saw its offensive production sharply decline in the second. The Tribe recorded 15 shots in the opening half, but managed just eight in the final period. Additionally, the College converted three of its five free position shots in the first half, but went zero for three on free position shots in the second. The team’s only goals in the last thirty minutes came from junior midfielder Jenny Michael and Golden, whose five points on four goals and an assist moved her into a tie for second place on the College’s all-time career points list.
In addition to Golden, senior midfielder Ashley Holofcener, senior attacker Maggie Anderson, sophomore midfielder Kyrstin Mackrides and Steinweg each registered two goal`s apiece.
Defensively, senior goalkeeper Emily Geary, like the rest of the squad, had a good first half, but struggled down the stretch, recording just two saves and allowing nine goals in the second half. Still, the senior
claimed first-place on the school’s all-time saves list with 538.
The College must regroup quickly for another game against a challenging opponent. The Tribe will face No. 2 Northwestern Saturday in the first ever women’s lacrosse match at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Tx.