The Oglethorpe women's lacrosse team got their 2019 season off to an outstanding start Saturday afternoon at the Oglethorpe Track and Field, besting the Southern Wesleyan Warriors 9-6 in a tight game throughout. Though the Stormy Petrels led from the 11:51 mark of the first half on, they never pushed their lead to more than four goals at any one point. The Warriors cut it to two with just under nine minutes left, but the Petrels were able to hold on for the win.
With the Petrels ahead 8-4 and under 12 minutes to go, Southern Wesleyan tallied a pair of goals to cut the Oglethorpe lead to two, 8-6, with 8:51 on the clock. It appeared that they had another with around 8:30 remaining, but SWU had the goal waved off for the use of an illegal stick, keeping the Petrels ahead by two. That proved to be big, and coupled with a free-position goal from junior midfielder Jill Czaplinski with 5:12 left, turned the tide back in Oglethorpe's favor. A Warrior yellow card with 2:30 left meant the Petrels would play up a player for two minutes. From there, the home side maintained possession and put the game away.
Up 5-3 entering the second half, Oglethorpe got senior Madison Goss's fourth goal of the game less than three minutes into the period, giving the team a three-goal cushion. The two sides traded man-up goals over a four-minute stretch, with Oglethorpe's coming from Czaplinski off an assist from freshman attacker Audrey Mahoney. Freshman midfielder Tatyana Harris then secured a free-position goal for the first tally of her career and gave Oglethorpe their four-goal lead.
In the first half, Southern Wesleyan scored the first two markers of the game. However, the home side responded with a five-goal run over an eight-minute stretch, with goals coming from Czaplinski, senior midfielder Caroline Chamberlain, and three from Goss.
Goss led the team with four goals on four shots, while Czaplinski added three on three shots and an assist. Junior defender Dreshona Mapps-Whitmore accrued a couple of game highs with five ground balls and six caused turnovers. Freshman goalie Zoe Geiger picked up her first career win, making four saves in the process.
Oglethorpe outshot the Warriors 21-15, including a 16-10 edge in shots on goal. The Petrels forced 35 Southern Wesleyan turnovers and collected 23 ground balls on the day. They were also successful on 16 of 25 clear attempts.
"Today was a great start to our season," said Oglethorpe head coach Brittney Hughes. "The team played for the full 60 minutes, did the things we asked of them, and competed for each other. Southern Wesleyan played a great game and we wish them the best of luck with their season."
The Petrels will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 16, for their SAA opener against the Sewanee Tigers. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. back at the Oglethorpe Track and Field.