BRIDGEWATER, Va. – In the 2014 home opener, the Bridgewater Eagles women's lacrosse team battled tooth and nail, trading goals with visiting Christopher Newport in the first half before the Captains scored the final five goals of the game to hand the Eagles a tough 12-6 loss on Wednesday afternoon at the Jopson Athletic Complex.
Bridgewater fired off the first shot of the game when Katie Freeman broke free and ripped a shot at the cage but Christopher Newport (5-3) goalie Hanna Slough was up to the task, turning away the Freeman shot to keep the game scoreless in the early moments of the contest.
Following the Freeman shot, CNU went on the attack. The Captains ripped three shots at Bridgewater netminder Rachel Gruber but Gruber was brilliant over the opening eight minutes of the game to keep the contest at a scoreless deadlock.
The Eagles gained an early advantage when Claire Palermo-Re put Bridgewater on the board with 21:26 to play in the first to build a 1-0 lead.
Christopher Newport spent just 16 seconds behind the Eagles on the scoreboard as Ashton Marshall registered her first of six goals on the day to tie the contest up at a goal each starting a back-and-forth battle. Kylie Chaplin assisted on the Marshall goal for the Captains.
After the Marshall tally, it took Bridgewater (4-4) less than a minute to regain the lead. Bridgewater converted a CNU turnover into a goal when Freeman took a pass from Caroline Fletcher and stroked a shot into the back of the net to push the Eagles back out in front, 2-1.
A quick response from the Eagles garnered an even faster response from CNU after the Captains earned the ensuing draw. Marshall sprinted down field and dished a pass off to Meaghan Galvin and Galvin beat Gruber to draw the game to a 2-2 deadlock with 19:52 to play in the first half.
Marshall scored again with 18:06 to go in the opening frame to put the Captains out in front for the first time at a 3-2 tally.
Following the Christopher Newport goal, the Eagles turned another turnover into a goal at the opposite end to knot the game up at a 3-3 margin with under 12 left in the first. Sophomore Jesse Colligan forced a turnover at the defensive end after her shot caromed off of the crossbar on a free-position shot. The sophomore worked back into the offensive end and ripped a shot into the back of the net to tie the game up at a 3-3 score with 11:17 to go in the opening stanza.
Bridgewater's goal was once again answered by the Captains when Marshall tallied her third goal of the first half with less than seven minutes to go to put CNU out in front, 4-3.
Fletcher tied the contest back up, this time at four goals each, when she rattled a shot into the cage with 5:25 to play in the first frame, but the Captains responded right away on a Jessica Singer goal to put CNU up by a 5-4 score.
Freeman registered her team-leading 16th goal of the season with 3:21 to play in the first half on an unassisted tally, but it was Christopher Newport taking the momentum into the locker room off of back-to-back goals as the Captains owned a 7-5 halftime lead.
Out of the intermission, the Eagles went back on the attack before trimming the deficit in half. Fletcher had a shot blocked in the opening minute of the session but a yellow card on Christopher Newport's Autumn Dailey gave the Eagles a man-up opportunity. Freshman Meredith Wimbrow made the Captains pay when she registered a free-position goal just 14 seconds into the man-up chance to cut the deficit to 7-6 with 27:22 remaining.
Christopher Newport answered with a Chaplin goal to extend the margin to 8-6 and the Captains held the Eagles in check over the remainder of the second half while scoring four more times to take a 12-6 victory over the Eagles.
Offensively, the Eagles were led by a two-goal game from Freeman. Fletcher chipped in a goal and dished out an assist as the Eagles were limited to just 18 shots on the day.
Bridgewater forced 13 Christopher Newport turnovers in the game with junior Caroline Augsburger leading the charge with three caused turnovers.
Gruber picked up the loss despite recording a dozen saves.
The Captains were led offensively by six goals and two assists from Marshall. Galvin and Singer also added multi-goal games as CNU outshot Bridgewater by a 31-18 margin.
Slough earned the win for the Captains, making nine saves on the day.
Bridgewater is back in action on Saturday when it hosts Roanoke. Start time against the Maroons is set for 3 p.m.