JJ Hendrickson, Contributing Writer
The VCU women’s lacrosse program lost to the Elon Phoenix, 13-8 in a Saturday afternoon game at Cary Street Field, which ended its three-game winning streak.
Rams head coach Nicole Flores said the team did not perform well enough to get the win at the end of the game.
“[We were] lacking. We definitely didn’t do the little details right and it showed up on the scoreboard,” Flores said.
Elon jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the game, with goals coming from senior attacker Gillian Curran and junior midfielder Hannah McCarthy. The Rams responded with three goals of their own from sophomore midfielder Morgan Reed, junior attacker Julianna George, and junior midfielder Emma Barber.
At the end of the first quarter, VCU was winning by a score of 3-2 and had taken two more shots than Elon. Despite its positive offensive play, they also had six turnovers during the first period.
VCU freshman attacker Mia George scored early in the second quarter, which put the Rams up by two goals. It was at this point Elon seemed to flip a switch. The Phoenix scored six unanswered goals before the horn sounded for halftime, making the score 8-4. Elon’s Gillian Curran assisted freshman attacker Cierra Hopson for two of those six goals.
When the second half started, Elon picked up right where they left off, hitting the back of the net two more times, which opened up a six-goal lead for the Phoenix. VCU sophomore midfielder and leading scorer Kelsey McDonnell was able to pull one back for the Rams shortly after.
Midway through the third period, the shot clock at Cary Street Field stopped functioning. This caused a delay of about 15 minutes in the game, allowing the Rams to regroup and try to regain momentum. VCU senior attacker Abby Osmeyer said the team wanted to use the break to change the direction the game was going.
“We talked about how it was a big momentum changer,” Osmeyer said. “We were coming out down a few goals and everything, so we knew this could really stop where their momentum was and it could be a change for ours. So, we kind of just joked around, got hype and ready to go.”
When the clocks started functioning correctly once again, Osmeyer scored a quick goal to trim the deficit to just three. Unfortunately for VCU, this was as small as it would get. Elon responded with three fourth quarter goals, and the Rams fell short, despite two more goals from Osmeyer.
It seemed as if VCU lost the momentum they had during their recent winning streak. Sophomore midfielder McDonell said the team needs to work to regain it.
“I think going into this week, we need to really grind at practice and get back to the place that we were before today. We start [conference play] next weekend, so we just need to come out hot for the start of that,” McDonell said.
Despite the disappointing result, Osmeyer was a bright point for the black-and-gold. She filled the stat sheet with three goals and an assist during the contest. Osmeyer said her teammates helped her have a great game on Saturday.
“I kind of had a rough start to the beginning of the season and I came out and all of my teammates had a lot of confidence in me,” Osmeyer said. “I think when we play calm, cool and collected and move the ball quickly we’re really able to dictate the game.”
Osmeyer will hope to continue to perform at a high level in upcoming conference play, which starts next weekend. Coach Flores said the Rams will not make any changes to their preparation in anticipation of Atlantic 10 play.
“We just gotta fix what is wrong right in front of us,” Flores said.
After the loss on Saturday, the Rams possess a record of 4-3 entering conference play.
The Rams will begin Atlantic 10 play against George Mason on Friday, March 25 at 2p.m., at Cary Street Field. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.