No. 4 Dawgs set to go against No. 1 Gators in 10 minutes. Don't touch that dial!— UGA Women's Lacrosse (@UGAWomensLax) February 22, 2014
Saturday marked the second day of a big weekend for college lacrosse in the Atlanta area. After the Georgia men’s club lacrosse team schooled Alabama, 13-4, at Centennial High School in Roswell last night, the Georgia women’s club lacrosse team took on Florida at Northview High School in Duluth this morning. In a clash between two clubs who entered the weekend as top five teams, the Bulldogs came up just short, running out of time while trailing, 10-9.
The Gators took control of the opening draw, but their initial shot was deflected by freshman goalie Caroline Youngs. Senior defender Kelly Arnhart came away with the steal, but the Orange and Blue goalie carded a save on the first Red and Black attempt at the goal. The two squads traded turnovers and saves until junior midfielder Morgan Shumate drew a yellow card, senior attack Emma Goodnow struck the post with a shot, and Florida took possession to set up the goal that gave the Gators a 1-0 lead.
The goalies continued to match one another, save for save, until the Sunshine State Saurians scored again on a free position shot. Junior defender Cathryn Winslow then forced a turnover, fellow junior defender Brooks Leavell came up with the ball, and senior attack Murphy Ferguson scored. Freshman attack Maddie Hunter took control of the ensuing draw, setting up the free position goal by Ferguson that knotted the score, 2-2. Nevertheless, Florida scored on a fast break, came away with possession on the next draw, and notched another goal on a roll from the left to take a two-goal lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.
Two more Gator scores in the following five minutes put the Bulldogs in a hole, but junior attack Jenna Dreyer won the draw and tallied the goal that cut the deficit to 6-3 at the break. A turnover followed by a free position shot gave Florida a four-goal lead early in the second half before sophomore midfielder Arden Birdwell narrowed the gap. After a stretch filled with turnovers and misfires, the Orange and Blue scored again, then Goodnow found the back of the net on a roll from the left side to pull Georgia within three goals of the visitors.
Shortly thereafter, the Gators scored twice to build up what appeared to be an insurmountable 10-5 edge with a little over ten minutes left to play, yet the Bulldogs would not go quietly. Dreyer scored on a free position shot, then Ferguson found junior midfielder Katie Ezell for another goal, then Ezell scored again on a free position shot of her own. Both goalies continued to card stops, but another free position goal by Dreyer cut the margin to 10-9 with 90 seconds showing on the clock.
Florida won the draw. Georgia got the steal, only to throw the ball away. The Bulldogs got the ball back with a chance to tie it up, but the Red and Black failed to score, falling by a single goal to the top team in the WCLA. While the result was disappointing, the Athenians proved once again their ability to go toe-to-toe with any club in the country. The Georgia women’s club lacrosse team will return to action one month hence, with a pair of Saturday outings in Columbia, S.C., on March 22, and the Georgia men’s lacrosse team is slated to face South Florida at Alpharetta High School at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.
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