March 17, 2009

No. 7 UVA Needs Big Rally to Oust W&M

from staff reports

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A slow start looked to plague the No. 7 Virginia  women's lacrosse team in its contest against William & Mary on Tuesday  evening at Klöckner Stadium, but a stingy late game defense - anchored by senior goalkeeper Sara Hairfield - and an overtime goal by redshirt junior Whit Hagerman, allowed the Cavaliers to escape its in-state rival with another come-from-behind 10-9 overtime victory.

Hagerman's goal with 1:19 remaining in overtime capped off a 4-0 run of the Cavaliers' to close out the contest with the win, bumping them to 6-2 on the season and dropping the Tribe to 3-4 on the year.

Senior All-American Ashley McCulloch led the Cavaliers' attack with three goals, while senior All-American Jenny Hauser and junior Brittany Kalkstein contributed two scores each - Hauser added an assist. Senior All-American Blair Weymouth notched one score and two helpers, while freshman Julie Gardner added a goal. Hagerman scored the game-winner and junior Kaitlin Duff dished out two assists.

In goal, Sara Hairfield played the final 18:50 without allowing a goal and collecting three saves to pick up her first collegiate win.

Senior All-American Jen Holden and sophomore Liz Downs led the defense with four ground balls, while senior Katie Shannon caused four turnovers.

Kalkstein won four draw controls for Virginia, while Weymouth and McCulloch each won three.

William & Mary had four players score two goals each, led by Grace Golden and Clare Dennis who each added an assist to share the team-high in points. Golden also had three ground balls, while Emily Geary collected a game-high 13 saves.

The Tribe were the fourth-consecutive opponent the Cavaliers have faced to get on the board first, as Golden fired a shot past redshirt junior Lauren Benner less than a minute into play. Kalkstein responded for the Cavaliers, though, converting a free position shot at 26:47 for Virginia's first score.

The Tribe answered at 22:16 to maintain an edge, but McCulloch knotted the score at two all, at 17:24, before two goals from the Tribe in about a minute span pushed W&M ahead 4-2 at 14:45.

Weymouth dished a pass ahead to Hauser on a fast break transition, which Hauser fired into the back of the net at 11:08 to cut the Tribe's lead to one and Kalkstein made it two-straight with a score at 7:51 - from Duff.

William & Mary would find the net one more time - at 5:24 - in the opening half, enabling the Tribe to take a one goal advantage into the intermission, at 5-4.

The Cavaliers fired off the first two goals of the second half - the first from McCulloch and the second from Gardner - to take their first lead of the contest, at 6-5. But, the Tribe stormed back with two goals 19 seconds apart and tacked on two more to take a 9-6 lead with 12:50
left to play.

Virginia's trio of All-Americans stepped up in the final minutes, with Hauser, Weymouth and McCulloch tallying goals, respectively, to knot the score at nine and force overtime.

The Cavaliers had three shots in the opening three minutes of overtime, but were unable to convert any of them into goals. The Tribe fired one shot on their offensive possession - in which Hairfield stopped - and Hagerman notched a score at 1:19 to secure to victory for Virginia.

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