#7 UVA women’s lacrosse loses season opener to #5 Northwestern, 6-5
After trailing 5-2, Virginia scored three straight goals, including a pair from sophomore Kelly Reese (Severna Park, Md.), to knot the score 5-5 with 15:16 remaining. The Wildcats’ Sheila Nesselbush scored the game winner on a man-up free position shot with three minutes left in the game.
“I thought we did some nice things today, making good plays, possessing the ball really well, but we need to be shooting better and make sure we are focused down the stretch,” said Virginia head coach Julie Myers. “We had a key turnover and then several cards in the next couple of minutes, so I think the wheels fell off a little, but they were all in the spirit of ‘I’ll do anything to get the ball back.’ We need to clean that up, but I think we have a great group who will work together to do that.”
Senior Courtney Swan (Vero Beach, Fla.) scored a goal with an assist. Seniors Casey Bocklet (South Salem, N.Y.) and Daniela Eppler (Baltimore, Md.) also scored with senior Liza Blue (Butler, Md.) recording an assist.
Blue won the opening draw control, setting up Eppler’s goal nine seconds into the game. Swan put UVa up 2-0 on a free position shot two minutes later. Northwestern scored three goals in a span of five minutes to take a 3-2 lead with 19 minutes left in the half. Neither team scored again in the first period.
In the second half, Northwestern added two more goals in the first seven minutes to lead 5-2 before Reese started the Virginia rally with her unassisted goal at the 22:16 mark.
Northwestern had a pair of man-up opportunities in the final five minutes of the game, scoring off the first and running out the clock after a Virginia yellow card with 46 seconds remaining.
Virginia held a 20-19 advantage on shots. Both team committed six turnovers. Virginia had a 9-4 edge in draw controls including winning five of seven in the second half.
Virginia continues its stretch of four-straight season-opening road contests on Wednesday, Feb. 18 when it plays a 5 p.m. game at Richmond. Virginia’s first home game will be on Tuesday, March 3 when it hosts Harvard at 4 p.m.
Single-game reserved seats are available for all women’s home games for $7. Single-game general admission adult tickets for women’s home games are $5, while youth (18 and under), seniors (60 and over), and UVa faculty and staff tickets are $4 each.