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Georgia Women's Club Lacrosse Team Falls in Second Round of WCLA Championships

After winning their first-round game at the WCLA Championships on Wednesday, the fourth-seeded Georgia women’s club lacrosse team was back in action this afternoon to take on the No. 5 seed in the national tournament, UCLA. In a hard-fought battle, the Bulldogs came up just short against the Bruins, falling by a 9-8 final margin.

The highly decorated Red and Black ladies got off to a less than optimal start, as junior attack Jenna Dreyer drew a yellow card for a dangerous shot, then the Bulldogs incurred an offside penalty after forgetting they were a player down. Fortunately, freshman goalie Caroline Youngs made stops to keep the contest scoreless until junior midfielder Katie Ezell made good on a free position shot to stake the Athenians to an early 1-0 advantage.

Another yellow card, this time on senior midfielder Lindsay Brinker, led to a game-tying free position shot by the Bruins, who subsequently used draw controls, takeaways, and another free position shot to take a 4-1 lead. Ezell answered with a spin move and a left-handed goal to cut the deficit to two, but the Bulldogs’ next several shots were thwarted, enabling UCLA to build its edge to 7-2 on the Californians’ next trio of possessions.

The contest then became a defensive struggle, with the score remaining unchanged until Dreyer fed senior midfielder Callie Wheatley for a Georgia goal in the final two minutes of the first half to send the game to intermission with the Bruins up, 7-3. The final 30 minutes began more auspiciously than did the first, as the Athenians controlled the opening draw, leading to the free position shot by senior attack Emma Goodnow that narrowed the gap to a trio of goals.

Saves, stops, blocks, misses, and penalties dominated the action for the next several minutes until Ezell scored to earn herself a hat trick and pull the Bulldogs within 7-5 with 13 minutes remaining to play. UCLA answered with a free position shot to extend the West Coast club’s advantage to three goals once more, but Goodnow responded with the score that trimmed the deficit back to two. On the ensuing possession, Dreyer found twine to narrow the gap to 8-7 at the 9:17 mark, then a third straight Georgia draw control led directly to a game-tying goal by junior attack Parisa Ayers.

Dreyer’s attempt to reclaim the lead for the Red and Black was halted by the Bruins’ goalie, enabling the Californians to notch the go-ahead goal with fewer than five minutes left. After winning the ensuing draw, UCLA was content to play keep away and bleed the clock until time expired.

Though the spring season came to a disappointing end in Virginia Beach, the Georgia women’s lacrosse team came through its 2014 campaign with an impressive 15-6 record that included a 5-5 ledger against squads that made the 16-team WCLA Championship field. The Bulldogs’ last five losses all were by one-goal margins, and all came against national tournament clubs. These ladies represented the University exceptionally, and they played as well as any team in the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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