WINCHESTER, Va. – Jesse Colligan scored with under 22 minutes to play in regulation to hand the Bridgewater Eagles women's lacrosse team a 7-6 advantage, but the Eagles couldn't hold off Shenandoah, the 2013 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) runner-up, in a 10-8 loss to the Hornets on Wednesday afternoon.
The two teams traded tallies in the early minutes of the contest with goals from Caroline Fletcher and Colligan putting the Eagles on the board and knotting the game up at two goals each with 23:17 to play in the opening stanza.
Shenandoah took the lead with back-to-back goals from Liz Bereit and Samantha Donaghy to take a 4-2 lead just 10 minutes into regulation.
Junior Paige Hennessy registered a goal to break up the Shenandoah spurt but it was the Hornets tallying the final two goals of the opening half to build a 6-3 halftime lead.
Despite trailing by three at the half, the Eagles led the Hornets in the shots department over the first 30 minutes of play, owning a 13-11 advantage. Bridgewater's defense was also up to the task, forcing eight Shenandoah miscues in the first half, while the Eagles earned seven of the 10 draws contested in the opening stanza.
Out of the halftime break, the Eagles converted those advantages on the stat sheet into tallies on the scoreboard as Bridgewater rattled off the first four goals of the second frame to take a 7-6 lead.
Colligan earned the opening draw of the second half and the Eagles wasted little time in getting back on the scoreboard. After a foul on the Hornets warranted a free-position attempt for the Eagles, senior Katie Freeman posted her first goal of the game on a free position to cut the deficit to 6-4 with 28:56 remaining.
Shenandoah looked to respond off of a Bridgewater turnover but Beiret's shot was rejected by Rachel Gruber to keep the deficit at a manageable two goals. Following the Gruber save, the Eagles turned a successful clear into a score on the offensive end as Fletcher earned a free-position shot with 24:06 to play. Fletcher made the shot count, trimming the deficit to 6-5.
The Hornets earned the ensuing draw but a turnover proved costly as Bridgewater got back on the scoreboard off of the Shenandoah miscue. Fletcher quickly moved downfield for the Eagles and dumped a pass off to Hennessy and the junior ripped a shot into the back of the net to tie the contest up at six goals each with 23 and change remaining.
After the Hennessy goal, the Hornets went back on the attack. Erin Higgins and Donaghy each fired shots at Gruber but the freshman was again up to the task to keep the contest at a 6-6 deadlock.
Bridgewater (4-8, 1-4 ODAC) again made the Hornets pay for a turnover when the Eagles tallied the go-ahead goal with 21:36 to play. Following a Brittany Arndt turnover, Colligan rocked a shot past the keeper with 21:36 remaining, handing the Eagles a 7-6 advantage.
This time, Shenandoah (6-6, 3-2 ODAC) responded to a Bridgewater goal in a big way. Becky Bove took a pass from Donaghy and beat Gruber to tie the game and open up a four-goal run for the Hornets. Bereit, Samantha Sisson and Donaghy would each add goals later in the half to put Shenandoah out in front, 10-7.
Colligan added her third goal of the game as the clock expired, but it wasn't enough as the Eagles fell by a 10-8 tally.
The Eagles were led offensively by Colligan's three-goal outing. Fletcher and Hennessy each chipped in two goals, while Fletcher added an assist for the Eagles.
Gruber recorded eight saves in the loss.
Sisson led the Hornets with four goals and an assist and Bereit added three goals to the Hornets offensive attack.
Ashley Cross was active all game between the pipes and made a dozen saves to earn the victory.
Bridgewater returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Guilford for Senior Day. Start time against the Quakers is set for noon.