Women’s Lacrosse Loses Home Opener


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Addie Fischer (above) led the Wildcats with four goals on the day.

Owen Hewitt, Staff Writer

On Saturday afternoon, the Villanova women’s lacrosse team gave up a second-half run to the Willam & Mary Tribe, dropping the first game of the season, 14-13. 

Junior midfielder Addie Fischer led the ‘Cats in scoring with a career-high four goals on four shots. The Wildcats led the game in shots, 39-26, and draw controls, 19-11, but could not manage to come away with a victory in the home opener. Tribe senior attacker Lauren Russell led all scorers with seven goals on eight shots, and freshman goalkeeper Elise Palmer made 16 saves, including multiple saves in the closing minutes, in her collegiate debut for the Tribe. 

The ‘Cats got off to a decent offensive start, scoring four goals in the opening period as transfer junior attacker Cara Moreau scored her first goal as a Wildcat to open the scoring at the 13:24 mark of the first. Fischer followed with the second, and senior midfielder Alexa Tsahalis and freshman attacker Sami Carey scored the third and fourth, respectively. 

The ‘Cats kept up the scoring through the second period, taking an 8-3 lead into the half, with freshman attacker Sydney Pappas netting the first goal of her Villanova career, and senior captain Libby McKenna scoring twice in the period. At the half, Villanova led in shots at 22-9 and draw controls at 9-3. 

The Tribe came out of the half hot on the offensive end and went on a 5-0 run and held a 7-3 scoring advantage in the third period, closing the ‘Cats previous 8-3 lead down to 11-10. 

In the fourth, Fisher converted two free-position attempts to bolster the ‘Cats lead to three, but the Tribe then scored three unanswered to tie the game up with 2:41 remaining on the clock. Tribe freshman attacker Serena Jacobs found the back of the net with just 2:17 to play for her third goal of the game, all of which came in the final period, giving the Tribe the lead, 14-13. The Tribe would hold on thanks to some excellent play between the sticks from Palmer, whose 16-save performance tied her for the fifth best in William & Mary history. 

‘Cats senior keeper Alexa Moro gave up 14 goals on 26 shots, making seven saves throughout the contest. Senior midfielder Caroline Curnal won a career-high 13 draw controls, while senior defender Hanna Driscoll forced three Tribe turnovers, a new career best for her. Senior midfielder Alexa Tsahalis also set a new career high in both shots and shots on goal, with eight of each.

The Wildcats will be back in action on Feb. 16 as they take on the Temple Owls. The Owls will provide a challenge for the ‘Cats, as the team is ranked No. 22 in the IWLCA’s coaches’ poll. The Owls are coming off a strong performance against Army, where they took home the victory, 16-5. The ‘Cats will have to score goals past graduate goalkeeper Annie Carroll, who posted an 83% save percentage in the match against Army.

The ‘Cats will also have to worry about a star in the middle, as sophomore Belle Mastropietro won the preseason Midfielder of the Year award. She led all scorers in Temple’s opening contest against Army with four goals while also notching an assist, a ground ball and controlled four draws. Villanova will travel to Temple to take them on at 6 p.m. The ‘Cats will then return home on Saturday, taking on the Cornell Big Red in another non-conference matchup.