April 17, 2011

W&M Finishes Strong to Dispatch Drexel

from press release

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- The 18th-ranked William and Mary lacrosse team held off a second-half rally by Drexel to earn a 15-9 victory at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field on Senior Day Sunday afternoon.

The Tribe (8-5, 3-1) led DU (8-5, 2-2) by as many as five early in the second half before the Dragons gradually drew within one midway through the final stanza. However, the College held Drexel scoreless for the final 12:10 and closed the game on a 5-0 run to earn its second consecutive conference game win.

W&M continued to get offensive production from a number of players, as the team had eight different scorers. A number of Tribe players also posted impressive defensive efforts, led by senior Sarah Jonson who equaled the program's career caused turnovers record of 129 established by Kristen Wong (2004-07).

Sophomore Kyrstin Mackrides led the squad offensively with a career-high four goals to go with one assist, while senior Grace Golden totaled four points (3g, 1a), four caused turnovers, three ground balls and two draw controls. Freshman Taelor Salmon also posted a hat trick with three goals.

En route to equaling W&M's career caused turnovers record, Jonson registered a pair of caused turnovers, two ground balls and four draw controls. Senior Molly Wannen was also key on draw controls and finished with four as well to help the Tribe earn a 17-9 advantage in the category.

Senior goalkeeper Emily Geary posted five saves for the Tribe, two of which came during a key stretch late in the contest that helped W&M hold off Drexel's comeback bid.

"We played a great opponent in Drexel today, but we rose to the challenge and showed a lot of grit," head coach Christine Halfpenny said. "We showed a lot of resilience when Drexel came back in the second half, and I'm proud of the character we displayed.

"As a team, we moved the ball very well again today and finished our shots, which is something we've focused on. Today was a defining effort, as we're continuing to show improvement and are beginning to put it all together.

"We had some outstanding individual efforts defensively - Emily Geary was huge down the stretch, and Denise Lenihan , Sarah Jonson , Sarah Mulvey and Kaitlyn Gambrell were all remarkable."

Things looked good for the Tribe early, as it won the opening four draws and built a 3-1 advantage in the opening 4:09. Salmon provided two of the initial three scores, while Golden also found the back of the cage.

Although Drexel fought back to tie the contest twice at 3-3 and 4-4, W&M closed the half with a pair of goals in the final few minutes to take a 6-4 lead into the locker room. Golden provided the go-ahead score with 2:23 showing, while Mackrides followed with an 8-meter goal with 21 seconds remaining.

W&M added three more unanswered goals to start the second half en route to building a 9-4 advantage. Goals by senior Maggie Anderson and Wannen bookended an electric fast break score by Mackrides off an assist from Golden that was started by a Lenihan caused turnover.

Following a Drexel timeout to regroup, the Dragons utilized a 4-0 run go cut the margin to 9-8 midway through the half. Although DU still trailed by just one, 10-9, following a goal by Jaclyn Klunder with 12:10 remaining, the Tribe closed the contest with five unanswered goals - all by different players (Salmon, Jenna Dougherty , Mackrides, Jenny Michael and Golden) - to earn the victory.

The Tribe will return to action next weekend with conference road games at Delaware (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Towson (Sunday, 1p.m.).


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