Andy Riddler, Contributing writer
Lacrosse found its way back to victory with weekend wins over St. Bonaventure and Davidson to bring the season record to 7-9, 4-5 in the Atlantic 10.
The Rams needed extra time against Davidson, but they finished on top with a final score of 16-15. Redshirt-senior midfielder Sky Hyatt scored the game-winning goal in the extra frame April 14.
After missing the last two games, Hyatt returned for VCU to score 7 points — six goals and an assist — to help propel the Rams to victory for their first back-to-back wins in more than a month.
The first 14 minutes of the game were even — neither team held a lead larger than one goal — but VCU put some distance between them and the Wildcats behind three unanswered goals from senior midfielder Clare Murphy, junior midfielder Keriann McTavish and senior midfielder Ryann Shaughnessy to give VCU a 9-6 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Rams surrendered three straight goals in the first five minutes, but responded with four of their own to give VCU its largest lead of the game at 13-9 with 12 minutes remaining.
Davidson closed out regulation on a 6-2 run — including three consecutive goals in the final five minutes — to tie the game and send it to overtime tied at 15.
Hyatt scored the game-winning goal with less than five minutes left in overtime to secure the victory over Davidson.
Shaughnessy closed out a strong weekend with consecutive hat tricks against both Davidson and St. Bonaventure — and against St. Bonaventure — to bring her season total to nine.
The Rams exploded out of the gates April 12 with six straight goals to take the commanding lead they never relinquished on the way to a 17-5 win.
Freshman midfielder Savannah Slack — who piled up three goals during the early run — was a key contributor for the Rams. Her performance was critical and something head coach Jen O’Brien said she was excited to see.
“For a team with 17 seniors, having freshmen play as big a role as they are is just so exciting for the future,” O’Brien said. “Savannah [Slack] doesn’t play like a freshman. She’s so confident, she’s so smart. She works really hard, and she elevates the level of our team.”
Senior attacker Molly Barcikowski logged 5 points — four assists and one goal — to eclipse the 50-point mark for the third straight season.
“It is just so calming to have her out on the field and see her out there, because you know she is always going to make really good decisions. She’s going to get everybody involved,” O’Brien said. “She’s just somebody that the whole team looks for as an on-the-field leader.”
McTavish finished the game with two goals and three assists to match her season high in the win. She also had a game-high seven draw controls.
VCU returns to action for its final conference game April 20 against George Mason at Cary Street Field. The contest against the Patriots is senior day for the Rams.