Andy Riddler, Contributing Writer
Lacrosse won its third straight game April 20, knocking off George Mason on senior day 13-12 in a nail-biting finish, as senior midfielder Clare Murphy scored the game-winning goal with 1 1/2 minutes remaining.
“I am so proud of her,” said coach Jen O’Brien. “She played so smart today, she took really great chances, great risks and that’s a senior out there.”
The win not only clinched the Rams’ spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament — it also marked the program’s first win over George Mason.
Saturday wasn’t the first time Lacrosse found success on senior day. Last season, the Rams knocked off Massachusetts — snapping their 61-game A-10 winning streak — and locked their seat in the A-10 tournament for the first time in program history.
Senior attacker Molly Barcikowski played her final game at Cary Street Field and did not disappoint. She matched her season high with five goals — three in the first half — and added two assists to set career highs in points, goals and assists.
“We know it’s really important to get Molly going early,” O’Brien said. “She is so smart and she has really been pushing the ball and dodging hard. And that opens up lanes for everyone else.”
The Rams held and lost a late three-goal lead, surrendering three unanswered goals in four minutes to the Patriots to tie the game.
Senior midfielder Sky Hyatt scored one goal in the game — her 45th of the season — and added three assists to her career.
VCU will face Saint Joseph’s in the first round of the A-10 tournament, and O’Brien said she is up for the challenge of facing a team that has troubled them before.
“We’re going to a team that we haven’t beat yet,” O’Brien said. “So we’re going to enjoy it for a little bit.”
The Rams are 0-4 against the Hawks in program history and most recently fell to Saint Joseph’s March 29 17-13 in Philadelphia.
The Rams earned the No. 5 seed in the A-10 tournament and will face off at George Mason against No. 4 Saint Joseph’s April 25 at 1 p.m.