The UVA Wise lacrosse team braved subfreezing temperatures on Friday afternoon to take down North Greenville University in a 16-11 season-opening victory.
“They never gave up,” head coach Meghan Dennehy said. “It was tough because of the weather. I felt it was something that we had to overcome…but they were able to keep their composure through the second half even though we were only up by two at halftime and they were able to pull away.”
Twelve seconds into their season, senior Jesse French connected with sophomore Katie Allen who found the back of the net for the team’s first goal of 2020.
“I definitely know that our team can have really good transitioning,” Allen said. “So I wasn’t surprised that we could get it down there that fast, and I just happened to be there.
Two more goals by Allen and a free-position goal by French would extend the Cavaliers lead to 4-0 halfway through the first period. A 4-1 scoring run by the Crusaders would cut the Cavaliers lead to one goal, But sophomore Caroline Earnshaw and freshman Kaila Lacey would combine to score three goals to close out the half and keep UVA Wise in the lead 8-6.
North Greenville scored first to open the second period, but seven unanswered goals by the Cavaliers would prove the difference as UVA Wise earned its third season-opening win in four years.
“I think the score really shows how talented this team is,” French said. “Just having so many people come in and give it their all. Having so many different scorers is phenomenal and just really speaks numbers to how talented this team is.”
Earnshaw and Allen tied for the team lead with four goals each in the win, as Earnshaw also tied for the match-high with seven draw controls. French recorded a match-high three assists with two goals while finishing a perfect 2-for-2 on free position shots. Junior Erin Smith recorded five ground balls and a match-high four caused turnovers, while sophomore Kameryn Darrington finished with a match-high six ground balls.
The Cavaliers (1-0) will spend the next month on the road, as they travel to University of Charleston on Friday night to open up a seven-game road trip. The last time UVA Wise faced Charleston was in the Mountain East Conference Tournament semifinals last season, where the Cavaliers defeated the Golden Eagles 13-8.
“We’ve played against them in the MEC, so we know how they are and they know how we are,” French said. “So it should be a really exciting game.”