Second Half Surge Comes Up Short Against Yellow Jackets
BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Bridgewater College scored the first four goals of the second half to pull to inch close to visiting Randolph-Macon but the Eagles' second-half surge came up just short in a 10-7 loss to the Yellow Jackets in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) women's lacrosse action.
On a chilly and windy afternoon at the Jopson Athletic Complex, the visiting Yellow Jackets started off on a strong note, rattling off the first five goals of the game to take a 5-0 lead with 19-plus minutes to play in the first half.
Bridgewater (4-7, 1-3 ODAC) got on the board with 11 and half minutes to go in the opening frame when Paige Hennessy rocked a shot into the back of the net to cut the deficit to 5-1.
Late in the first, the Yellow Jackets scored the final goal of the opening half when Katie Russo took an Alyssa Chavez pass and beat the keeper to send Randolph-Macon to the break with a 6-1 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets controlled the opening 30 minutes of play, owning a 14-3 advantage in shots, but the second half would see the momentum quickly shift in the favor of the Eagles.
Sophomore Jesse Colligan got the scoring started in the second half with an unassisted goal just 42 ticks into the final frame to cut the Randolph-Macon lead to 6-2. After the Eagles controlled the ensuing draw, sophomore Caroline Fletcher wasted little time in adding another Bridgewater tally. Fletcher scored with 28:48 to play off of a nifty move in front of the net, trimming the gap to 6-3.
Randolph-Macon (6-4, 3-1 ODAC) looked to get back on the board but Bridgewater goalkeeper Rachel Gruber turned away a Yellow Jackets shot and Fletcher later forced a turnover as the Eagles worked to cut deeper into the deficit. Off of the turnover, senior Katie Freeman scooped up a ground ball and rattled a shot into the back of the net to make the score 6-4, forcing a Randolph-Macon timeout.
Freeman would score again with 21:21 to play in the contest to bring the Eagles to within a goal at a 6-5 margin. Fletcher assisted on the Freeman tally.
Following the Freeman goal, the Yellow Jackets answered with back-to-back goals to build a slight cushion at an 8-5 gap with 17:08 remaining.
Freshman Meredith Wimbrow tallied goal number 12 of the season with 14:30 to go after Colligan sliced towards the goal and tossed a pass to Wimbrow and the Easton, Md. native did the rest to cut the gap to two, 8-6. Wimbrow's 12 goals on the season lead all Bridgewater freshmen.
The Yellow Jackets ran the lead back to three off of a Chavez goal before the visitors began to play keep away over the final 10 minutes of play.
Fletcher added her 19th goal of the year off of a free-position shot with 81 ticks to play, but it was as close as the Eagles would get as Randolph-Macon scored with a minute to play to finalize the scoring and hand Bridgewater a tough 10-7 loss.
Fletcher and Freeman tallied two goals each to lead the Bridgewater offense, but it was the Eagles' defense that kept the game close throughout. Five players forced two turnovers each as the Bridgewater defense forced 13 Randolph-Macon miscues on the day.
Gruber was stellar once again between the pipes, tying her career high with 17 saves. The freshman was exceptionally active in the second half, turning away 10 Yellow Jackets scoring attempts.
Randolph-Macon was led by a four-goal game from Jenelle Whitman. Allie Walker made five saves in goal to secure the win.
Bridgewater returns to action on Wednesday at Shenandoah. Opening draw against the Hornets is set for 4 p.m.