Tribe lacrosse falls short to George Mason in season opener, loses 11-10


Friday, Feb. 9, William and Mary women’s lacrosse (0-1, 0-0 CAA) lost its season opener against George Mason (2-0, 0-0 A-10) 11-10 at The St. James in Springfield, Va. 

The Tribe’s first matchup of the season was a tightly-contested one, featuring six ties and six lead changes. After being forced into overtime, the home Patriots sealed their victory thanks to a game-winner from graduate student attack Morgan Gunn. 

George Mason was first on the board with an opening goal from graduate student attack Chloe Reed. William and Mary responded with a goal from freshman midfielder Finley Hoffman followed by another from senior attack Ellie Shea to give the Tribe a quick 2-1 lead.

The Patriots answered by scoring two goals within a minute to retake the lead. With four minutes, one second remaining in the first quarter, William and Mary freshman attack Chloe Pierini recorded her first goal of the night, scoring unassisted to tie the game. Both defenses held steadfast the remainder of the half, ending the first period even at 3-3. 

Assisted by junior attack Justyce Barber, Pierini scored her second goal of the day at the beginning of the second period, pushing the Tribe into the lead, 4-3. George Mason responded less than 10 seconds later, equalizing the score once again. With nine minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the half, junior midfielder Paige Gilbert scored to propel William and Mary into the lead, 5-4.

The George Mason defense held off any further scoring advances for William and Mary in the rest of the period. The Patriots’ attack notched two more goals, ending the second period up 6-5. 

Gunn opened up scoring in the second half for George Mason, giving the home team a two-point lead that was the largest score differential of the evening. The Tribe went on a run with goals from junior attack Anna Dawson, Barber and sophomore attack Sydney Witwer to take the lead 8-7 as the teams entered the fourth period. 

The Patriots’ graduate student attack Shannon Tuozzo scored to even the game at 8-8. Freshman attack Piper Kienzle gave the Tribe back its lead, scoring an unassisted goal with just over eight minutes remaining in the game.

Fifty five seconds later, Hoffman scored her second goal of the day to give the visiting Tribe a two-goal lead. For the next five and a half minutes, both defenses worked hard to keep the score as it was, but The Patriot attack struck with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. Tuozzo and senior attack Kate Elam both scored critical goals, bridging the deficit and evening the score as time expired in the second half, sending the game to overtime.

In the first three minutes of the overtime period, neither team was able to break the tie. With two minutes left, an assist from sophomore defense Hailey Zutic to Gunn sealed the win for George Mason, as the visiting Tribe was unable to respond with its own goal. The overtime period ended with the Patriots winning 11-10. 

Despite the season-opening loss for the Tribe, eight different players scored at least once in the matchup. Scoring was led by two freshmen — Hoffman and Pierini — who both came off the bench to score two goals apiece. 

William and Mary will host Old Dominion (0-2, 0-0 SBC) Saturday, Feb. 17 at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field in Williamsburg, Va.


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