TOWSON, Md. – In Saturday afternoon's season opener at Goucher, the Bridgewater Eagles women's lacrosse team made a feverish run over the final six minutes of play but couldn't overcome a three-goal deficit as the Eagles fell by a 9-8 tally to the Gophers.
Bridgewater ran out to a 2-0 lead early in the contest on a pair of goals from the stick of Caroline Fletcher. Fletcher put the Eagles on the board with 25:39 to play in the first half on a free position goal before scoring 70 seconds later on an unassisted goal to put Bridgewater out in front, 2-0.
Goucher cut the Bridgewater deficit in half on a goal from the stick of Anneke Ossorio to bring the score to 2-1 after seven minutes of play. Ossorio's goal came off of a free-position shot with 23:11 to play in the opening half.
Following the Bridgewater goal, the Gophers responded with five unanswered tallies to take a 6-3 lead with 8:04 remaining the first. Goucher's Erin Reifsnyder registered three of her game high four goals during the run.
With 4:37 to play in the first, Devilbiss fired a shot into the back of the net off of a free position to trim the deficit to 6-4 before Reifsnyder rounded out the scoring in the first half to hand the Gophers a 7-4 lead at the intermission.
After the opening 30 minutes of play, the Gophers owned a slim 14-11 edge in shots in a tightly contested matchup.
Out of the intermission, Fletcher fired in her third goal of the game with 24 minutes to play to cut the Goucher lead to 7-5.
Goucher ripped off back-to-back goals to build a 9-5 lead with 8:26 to play but it was Bridgewater taking over down the stretch. After a failed clear by the Gophers, Bridgewater got back on the board when Paige Hennessy rattled a shot into the back of the net to bring the Eagles to within three goals at a 9-6 tally with 6:38 to go.
After the Bridgewater goal, Goucher controlled the ensuing draw and played keep-away until a foul and a yellow card with under a minute to play gave Bridgewater new life and a free position attempt. Sophomore Jesse Colligan scored the man-up goal off of the free-position and cut the deficit to 9-7.
Bridgewater controlled the ensuing draw and Fletcher tallied her fourth goal of the day 25 seconds later to bring the Eagles closer at a 9-8 score with 15 seconds left.
The Eagles controlled the final draw of the contest but Bridgewater couldn't net the equalizer as a turnover in the final seconds put an end to Bridgewater's late-game run, allowing the Gophers to escape with a one-goal victory.
Fletcher led the offense with four goals on six shots. The sophomore also picked up five ground balls and forced a game-high three turnovers in the loss. Bridgewater outshot Goucher by an 8-7 tally over the final 30 minutes but the Gophers held a slim 21-19 advantage in the shots department.
Reifsnyder led the way for the Goucher offense with four goals on five shots.
Freshman netminder Rachel Gruber turned away nine Goucher scoring attempts in the loss, while Gophers goalie Emily Gill recorded eight saves to earn the victory.
Bridgewater is back in action on Tuesday at Ferrum. Opening draw against the Panthers is set for 3:30 p.m.