FARMVILLE, Virginia – When they needed it, the Longwood lacrosse team dug deep and fought back against Winthrop on Wednesday afternoon in the final game of the regular season.
The Lancers used a second-half push on offense and a stoppage defensive effort that limited the Eagles to two goals after halftime. The end result was a 14-13 win that tied Longwood (6-11, 3-6 Big South) with Winthrop (4-13, 3-6 Big South) and Wofford for the final playoff spot. in the Big South. ranking.
That second-half surge saw Longwood edge past Winthrop 19-7, and the team also had 17 ground balls to Winthrop’s nine after halftime.
The defense also regained its energy and aggression, with the team credited with nine forced turnovers in the final 30 minutes. The teeming defense enveloped an attack from Winthrop (4-13, 3-6 Big South) which had totaled 11 goals in the first half.
“We are so proud of the heart, the restlessness and the resilience of our team today,” the Longwood head coach said. Elaine Jones. “It was a Herculean effort against a tough, well-drilled Winthrop team, and our team really pulled through. It was so exciting to see their hard work and determination finally pay off.”
Emily Cate Smith was everywhere throughout the game on offense for Longwood. The second was involved in eight of Longwood’s 13 goals behind a career-high eight points (four goals, four assists) to go with three turnovers caused, but she had plenty of assists. Eight players scored as part of Longwood’s diverse attack, and five different players scored after half-time. Haley Moomau also had a trio of goals, and Riley McDonald added two goals. Nicole Fordyce scored one goal and three assists.
Meanwhile, Amelie Carlile made his presence known in the fourth quarter with four huge saves, including a pair in the final minute to preserve the victory. The rookie made 10 saves in the game, the seventh time this season he hit double figures. She finished the regular season with 144 saves, seven short of the top 10 in a single season.
“The offense was in sync and we had eight different scorers, led by Emily Cate, Haley and Nikki, who really put the team on their toes with goals and assists today,” Jones said. “The defense, led by Rachel Abraham, Hannah Tirrel and Julia Koenig, really blocked Winthrop a couple of times, giving our offense the chance to score, which was great. And of course, kudos to Amelia who sealed the victory with her last-second save.”
For Winthrop, Lauren Asher, Alyssa Angelo and Claire Witmer scored three each, and Kelsey Johnson made 11 saves in goal.
The two teams traded shots in the first quarter and Smith equalized with four seconds left in the quarter to level the score at five all.
Winthrop started the second quarter on a tear and scored four straight to take a 9-5 lead. Smith briefly stemmed the tide with an unassisted goal to stop the run, and Lauren Cerretani scored a home with a shadow over a minute into the half to cut Winthrop’s lead to 11-8.
The Lancers broke in the third quarter. The defense was tight and the attack had four different scorers. Smith assisted on the last two goals of the quarter, one to Riley McDonald and one to Miranda Helfenbeinto make it 12-12 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Not a single person has ever played when we’ve dropped four points, which really showed our resilience,” Jones said.
Smith then found Claire Libby for the go-ahead goal with 8:34 remaining, and Moomau added what turned out to be the game winner with five minutes remaining.
The Eagles used one last gasp and had a chance to match it with an open position with less than five seconds left, but Carlile blocked Molly Dankowski on the doorstep to preserve the win.
“A huge thank you and congratulations to our elders, Rachel Abraham, Keelyn Haarhoff, Katie’s call, Nicole Fordyce, Kylie Cahill, Haley Moomau and Hannah Tirrel for their commitment and dedication to the program,” added Jones. “We are delighted to be able to send them to win. While this sadly ends our season, at least we are happy to end with our heads held high knowing that we went out and played the RIGHT mark of Longwood’s lacrosse. »
As the Lancers finished tied for sixth with Wofford and Winthrop, the tiebreakers faced off against Longwood to end their season.