Lacrosse: Tribe drops last home game before winning season finale at George Mason

William and Mary split its two games this past weekend, falling 17-8 to visiting James Madison before recovering with a 16-12 road win over George Mason.  The Tribe (5-11, 2-5 CAA) had lost five of its last six matchups, but it ended the rough season on a favorable note Sunday afternoon in Fairfax, Va.

Friday’s match honored its graduating seniors: defenders Hannah Clarke and Brett Hayes; midfielders Caitlin Murphy and Katie Stillwell; goalkeeper Katie Geary and attacker Kyrstin Mackrides.

The team’s performance, however, was an improper sendoff. Mackrides and junior attacker Taelor Salmon supplied two early goals to cut JMU’s lead to 3-2, but the offense mostly lacked punch in the first half as the Dukes closed out the period with a 6-1 scoring run. JMU dominated possession and controlled five out of six draws to end the half, putting the Tribe in an 8-3 hole going into intermission.

The Duke’s offense kept humming after the break, as the Dukes scored three straight goals to push their lead to 11-3. The Tribe managed a faint rally, led by freshman attacker Zoe Boger’s two second-half goals. But the comeback stopped dead at a score of 12-7 with 14 minutes, 40 seconds remaining.  From then on, the Tribe was unable to find the net, and the Dukes stretched their imposing lead to an 18-7 final score with six unanswered goals.  The Dukes out-shot the Tribe 34-19 in the game and controlled 75 percent of all ground balls to dominate possession and turn the Tribe’s senior day into a sour celebration.

The Tribe’s Sunday contest with George Mason was far more competitive. Salmon scored twice in the opening 10 minutes to propel the Tribe to an early 3-2 lead. Each time the Tribe pulled ahead, the hosts evened the score, and the two sides remained locked at 5-5 near the end of the half. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Johnson broke the tie, however, scoring just two seconds before halftime to put the Tribe up 6-5 at the break.

The Tribe continued to accelerate in the second half, as Mackrides, sophomore attacker Ellen Shaffrey and junior attacker Jenna Dougherty scored three unanswered goals to give the Tribe a 9-5 lead. The Patriots rallied with a 5-2 scoring run, cutting the College’s lead to 11-10 with 14 minutes remaining.

When things seemed dire, Mackrides and Salmon came through for the College.  The two provided three of the Tribe’s four unanswered scores to push the Tribe to a 15-10 lead and seize control of the game. Although the Patriots outscored the Tribe 2-1 in the final minutes, the visitors preserved the lead and finished the season with a 16-12 victory.

Although the Tribe’s season was rough overall, Mackrides’ 41 goals place her at 18th on the school’s single season scoring rankings. Mackrides’ stellar individual season was a bright spot for the College. The Tribe will return to action next year, hoping to improve on its 5-11 record and pursue an elusive berth to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.


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