BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech lacrosse team picked up its first win of the year as it held on to beat High Point, 11-10. Due to recent weather and snow, the game was played on Moseley Field, the turf practice field just behind Thompson Field. Junior Meg Bartley led the Hokies with four goals in the win, while Mackenzie Carroll paced the Panthers with four scores.
The Hokies (1-1) scored three goals to open the game as senior Kelly Naslonski put away a pass from redshirt senior Julia Heaps to get things going, and sophomore Meghan Macera added an early free position goal less than a minute later. Bartley tacked on another score as she fired in a wide-open shot to give Tech the early 3-0 lead.
High Point (1-2) quickly countered Tech’s opening run with a pair of goals from Carroll midway through the half to make it a one-goal game at 3-2. Neither team was able to find the back of the goal again until the clock ticked under the two-minute mark. Play went back-and-forth for the remainder of the half as aggressive defense on both ends drew a combined 32 fouls and forced a total of 19 turnovers for the two teams in the opening half.
Junior Jack Boissonneault put the Hokies up 4-2 with a late free position goal, but Sara Kuhlman got the Panthers back to within one, scoring with three seconds left until the half. Tech outshot the Panthers 16-8 in the first half, but High Point held the edge on the draw 5-3.
Tech won the opening draw of the new half but High Point’s Jasmine Jordan quickly forced a turnover and took the ball straight to the goal. After her initial shot was saved by Tech goalie Meagh Graham the rebound was lost on the ground in the crowd and after bouncing around ended up crossing the goal line and tying the game at four apiece.
The Hokies and Panthers traded leads until Tech went on a five-goal run. Sophomore Jessi Thon put away a free position shot with 17:30 left to play and a pair of goals from Bartley and junior Megan Will would follow over the next seven minutes, giving Tech a seemingly comfortable advantage heading into the home stretch.
The Panthers did not let the distance get to them and they strung together four consecutive scores of their own with under ten minutes to play. Four different players scored and Alec Perry capped off the run with a free position goal.
With under four minutes to play it was a one-goal game at 11-10, and High Point would remain on offense for the majority of the final minutes. It took all five shots in the closing minutes, but the Hokie defense did its best to protect its freshman goalie as time ran out.
High Point was awarded a free position shot with 1:06 on the clock and Graham made a huge save to keep the Tech lead intact. A costly turnover with just over 30 seconds remaining got the Panthers the ball back, and Jordan’s late attempt was again denied, but a foul on the play gave her another chance to score on another free position attempt. She nailed the post and senior Lindsay Roche picked up the loose ball and ran it down the field as time expired.
Tech finished the game outshooting the Panthers 31-28 and committing three less turnovers. High Point dominated the draw in the game, 15-9.
Heaps had another successful outing on offense for the Hokies as she tallied four points, scoring a goal and assisting three more. Her three assists in the game were just enough to get her into the Tech record books. She is now tied for tenth all-time with 35 career assists.
Jordan had an aggressive game on both ends of the field for the Panthers. Although she only had one assist she fired five shots, while also grabbing five ground balls and causing four turnovers.
Graham finished the game playing the full 60 minutes, making 10 saves and picking up four ground balls. Julia Burns manned the goal for High Point and also made 10 saves.
Tech will remain at home this weekend to host Elon on Sunday, Feb. 23 at noon. A decision will be made at the end of the week whether the game will be played on Thompson Field or again on the Moseley Field practice turf. Check back at hokiesports.com for updates.
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