by Jeffrey Wojtala – Special to the News-Press
On Thursday, April 7, despite holding a six goal lead early in the second half, the George Mason High School girls varsity lacrosse team dropped their second in a row in a heart breaking 17-16 loss to the Freedom High School Eagles.
The game stated quickly with a minor threat of rain on the horizon. After losing the initial draw, the Lady Mustangs quickly got the ball back in their defensive zone, pushed the ball forward and junior midfielder Lydia Gorman took a pass from junior Sarah Lubnow and scored the first goal of the game at the 24:40 minute mark.
The Eagles responded with their own goal three minutes later to knot the score at one. Sophomore Amy Roche scored the next two goals one minute apart, but once again the Eagles responded at the 19:37 mark to make it a 3-2 game.
The wet field caused many sloppy plays and dropped balls early in the first half for both teams, but the Mustangs managed to put three more behind the Freedom’s goalie by freshman Selwyn Heminway and sophomore Claire Hiscott, to increase the Mustang lead to 6-2 at the half way point of the first half. But the quick passing Eagles were not finished and put two of their own behind sophomore Annette Schlitt to pull within two.
Gorman scored her second, Roche scored her third and Lubnow scored her first to make it a 9-4 game before the Eagles put another two behind Annette to finished the first half with the score being 9-6 George Mason.
The second half began with the Lady Mustangs scoring three quick goals by Lubnow, and Heminway to widen their lead to six before the Eagles scored again.
Sophomore Lizzie Dodge entered the game and quickly found the back of the Eagles’ net to once again increase the Mason lead to six. Draw control was to be the start of the Mustangs demise, when the Eagles won four of the next draws and scored on each to pull within four of the Mustangs.
Roche scored her fourth goal at the 14:37 mark of the second half, but draw control once again took their toll on the Mustangs and the Eagles began a resurgence and went on a 6-0 run to take the lead with five minutes left in the game.
With the cheering, urging and pleading of the Mustang faithful in the stands, the Mustangs won the draw and Lubnow scored her fifth goal of the game to tie the score at 16. The Eagles where still dedicated to the task and using quick passes and multiple drives to the net placed another behind Schlitt to pull ahead once again with 1:30 left in the game.
Despite the Mustangs drawing two yellow card penalties in the final minute of the game and playing two-woman down, Dodge was not finished and with seconds left in the game drove the length of the field and placed a hard shot to the upper left corner of the goal, which was blocked at the last second by the Eagles goalie to preserve the win.
The Mustangs broke out of their losing streak on the road by defeating the Riverside High School Rams 19-10 in Leesburg on Monday, April 11. With the bitter memory of the last two loses still in their minds the Lady Mustangs came out quick using good passing, good cuts to goal and good picks to score the first goal of the game by Roche at the 22:59 minute of the opening half.
The Mustangs have scored the first goal in every game they played this season. Hiscott followed two minutes later with an assist from Lubnow and in a bizarre play, the Rams scored their first goal on a deflected clear by Schlitt to make it a 2-1 game George Mason.
The next three goals were all George Mason with goals by Gorman assisted by Amy Roche, Dodge, on a crease roll and Lubnow assisted by Roche. The Rams though would not roll over and scored on two rushes to the Mustangs’ net at 12:13 and 9:12 of the first half, but the Mustangs retaliated with five of their own to make it a 10-3 game.
Mustang goals were scored by junior Hannah Hiscott assisted by Roche, Roche assisted by Lubnow, junior Maeve Donnelly assisted by Lubnow, Roche unassisted and Hannah Hiscott scored her second at the 4:52 mark of the half.
The Rams responded late in the half with two more goals, and at the horn to mark halftime the Mustangs were up 10-5. Despite responding to Mason’s runs and going on runs of their own, Riverside never closed the gap on the Mustangs.
The Mustangs’ next game is home on Thursday, April 14 against Loudoun County.