Rams lose to Elon 13-8 at home, despite strong start to women’s lacrosse season

Junior attacker Riley O’Malley defends the ball versus Elon’s offense in the loss against Elon on March 19. Photo by Jay Stonefield

JJ Hendrickson, Contributing Writer

Lacrosse season is officially underway and the VCU women’s program has enjoyed a strong start to its season.

Through its first seven games, the Rams held a record of 4-3. The first game was a loss to Johns Hopkins University, who was ranked No. 20 in the nation at the time, according to VCU Athletics. VCU followed its loss with a narrow win over Old Dominion University. The team then had to travel to take on Virginia Tech, where it suffered defeat.

Following its trip to Blacksburg, the Rams racked up three consecutive victories against Longwood University, Coastal Carolina University and Radford University, all of which were won by four goals or more.

Sophomore midfielder Kelsey McDonnell is VCU’s leading scorer, VCU Athletics stated. She has poured in 13 goals at this point in the season, to go along with three assists. McDonnell said the team’s cohesive offense has allowed her to have success. 

“When our team works together on offense we create opportunities and then I just trust myself to finish them when I have them,” McDonnell said. “You don’t get those opportunities unless the team works all together for them.”

The VCU women’s lacrosse program lost to the Elon Phoenixes 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 after the game. 

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 its own from sophomore midfielder Morgan Reed, junior attacker Juliana George and junior midfielder Emma Barber. 

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 Phoenixes 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 Phoenixes. VCU sophomore midfielder Kelsey McDonnell was able to pull one back for the Rams shortly after. 

After a delay due to clock issues, VCU senior attacker Abby 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 goals in the fourth quarter. The Rams fell short, despite two more goals from Osmeyer.

VCU lost the momentum they had during its recent winning streak. McDonnell 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,” McDonnell 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 think it was just, I don’t know, it was a big day,” Osmeyer said. “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. I think when we play calm, cool and collected and move the ball quickly we’re really able to dictate the game.”

The Rams will begin Atlantic 10 play against George Mason on Friday, March 25 at 2 p.m., at Cary Street Field. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

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