NORFOLK, Va. – Senior Morgan Widlake put away two goals in the final five minutes of the game to help capture a 13-12 victory for the Virginia Tech lacrosse team over the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs at the Powhatan Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.
Rain came and went all afternoon, and a lightning delay with seven and a half minutes remaining in the game stopped the action but proved to be a catalyst for the Hokies (6-4) to turn things around.
Tech came out of the lightning delay recharged and freshman Meg Bartley sparked the squad when she caused an Old Dominion (3-6) turnover at its restraining line. The ball was relayed back towards the goal to Brooke Martin, who flicked it to Bartley for the score.
Widlake, who scored Tech’s first goal of the game, regained the Hokie lead for the first time since the beginning of the second half when she buried a pass from Nonn, who opted out of a free position shot after being fouled.
Old Dominion’s Lisa Bernardini evened things up at 12-12 with 4:14 remaining in the game when she went nearly the length of the field after a Tech turnover to put one away from the left side.
Junior goalie Alex Gale made a pivotal save with 2:12 on the clock when she denied a powerful shot from Bernardini and got the ball back in Tech’s possession.
Widlake was fouled with 1:50 left in the game and awarded a free position attempt. She fired from the eight-meter and bounced the ball between the goalie’s legs to put away the eventual game-winner.
Tech was able to win the following draw and spread the field to nearly run the clock out. Old Dominion got the ball back with 21 seconds on the clock but was unable to make anything happen.
Despite holding a solid first-half lead and still keeping the slight edge at the half, 7-6, the Hokies lost their momentum in the second half and allowed Old Dominion to take the lead and control the tempo.
A 5-1 run for the Hokies in the first half gave Tech control early on as senior Ryan Rotanz fed Brooke Martin to start the run. Rotanz got her own soon after when she found the back of the cage on a pass from junior Libby Rosebro. Bartley put in an unassisted goal to extend the Tech lead.
Back-and-forth play ensued until the clock rolled inside 13 minutes in the first half. Emily Austerberry sparked a three-goal run for the Lady Monarchs to get them within one and force a Tech timeout.
Rosebro responded for the Hokies out of the regrouping with her second goal of the day, but Old Dominion snuck in one more goal before the half to keep the Tech lead at one, 7-6.
Old Dominion began the second half with two straight goals to take its first lead of the game. The two teams battled both ways for the entire second half that saw five ties and two lead changes.
The Lady Monarchs held the advantage on goal at the half, outshooting Tech 15-13 but turnovers plagued both teams all half as they combined for 24 in the opening period. Both teams finished the game with 28 shots. Tech played a much cleaner second half as they cut down on turnovers.
Bernardini, along with Rebecca Hartrum and Sarah Wright all led the Lady Monarchs with three goals apiece.
Gale earned the win and finished the day with seven saves, while Sarah Geary manned the cage for the Lady Monarchs and also made seven saves on the day.
The Hokies have a quick turnaround as they return to the field Tuesday, March 27 for a 6 p.m. game against Liberty at Thompson Field.
For updates on Virginia Tech lacrosse, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Lax).