Women’s lacrosse falls to Elon in final second

After rallying back from 10-7, Cavaliers gave up costly goal

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Junior midfielder Kasey Behr tallied two goals in an 11-10 opening loss to Elon. 

Emma Lewis | Cavalier Daily

Opening its 2017 regular season at home against an unranked Elon squad Saturday, the No. 13 Virginia women’s lacrosse team rallied late before suffering a last-second loss, 11-10.

Phoenix junior midfielder Abby Godfrey fired home the game winner with one second left on the clock.

The two programs had never met prior to Saturday afternoon. Elon held a 1-6 record against opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference, having upset Duke 7-6 on the road last season.

The Phoenix set the tone early in their inaugural matchup with the Cavaliers. Junior attacker Stephanie Asher scored her first goal a little over three minutes into the contest. Asher went on to have a career day, tallying a game-high five goals.

Elon led 10 to seven with around 16 minutes remaining in the second half, but Virginia responded down the stretch. Sophomore midfielder Maggie Jackson cut the deficit down to two at 14:51. Over three minutes later, the Cavaliers benefited from two yellow cards that caused the Phoenix to be two players down, as junior midfielder Lilly DiNardo made it 10 to nine.

At 6:34, senior attacker Kelly Reese tied the score at 10-10, making Godfrey’s devastating finish at the end of the game that much more difficult to swallow.

"We had a lot of opportunities there when the game was tied at 10," head coach Julie Myers said. "We were two men up and failed to get a shot off, so there are a couple of moments I would like to do over again and put the kids in better spots. We were in position to win the game so it’s disappointing to lose on an eight-meter with one second left."

Virginia outshot Elon by a slight margin, 27-25, though the Phoenix placed 17 of its shots on goal compared to its opponent’s 16. The Cavaliers also won the groundball battle, 14 to 13.

Reese, senior attacker Besser Dyson and junior midfielder Kasey Behr tallied two goals apiece to pace Virginia. Freshmen midfielders Sammy Mueller and Nora Bowen each recorded their first collegiate goals, while Jackson and junior midfielder Lilly DiNardo each scored one as well.

Besides Asher, Godfrey and senior attacker Sloane Kessler did serious damage for Elon, recording two goals each. Its confidence somewhat shaken, the Cavaliers will use a scrimmage Tuesday afternoon against Wales to regroup.

Virginia won’t play another official game until Feb. 22 at Richmond. 

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