NEWBERG, Ore. – With an energetic crowd estimated at 450 on hand, the George Fox University Bruins pressed visiting Alma College all the way to the end before succumbing to the Scots 9-8 in the inaugural match for the institution's 16th official and newest intercollegiate sport, women's lacrosse, Tuesday night here at the Austin Sports Complex.
Emily Zadny gave Alma a 1-0 lead early in the game, but the Bruins tied it when Christine Doherty became the first Bruin ever to score. Moments later, Jessica Adrian gave the Bruins their first lead ever with her initial goal, assisted from Mikaela Easterlin.
Tracy Gallihugh and Sydney Bryce countered with one score each to put the Scots back in front, but Alexa Nakashimada evened the count for the Bruins with a score off a free position opportunity. Alma grabbed a 6-4 halftime lead, however, when Gallihugh and Valkyrie Progar each scored in the last three minutes of the period.
Easterlin, assisted by Rachel Gibbs, scored early in the second half to draw the Bruins within one, and Gibbs tied it with her first goal with 19 minutes left in the game. Bryce scored a pair of goals around a second score by Easterlin, but Adrian controlled a faceoff and raced unattended down the field to score the unassisted equalizer with just under six minutes to play.
The Scots would not be denied, however, as Gallihugh scored her third goal of the game with five minutes left. Nakashimada appeared to have tied the game with a minute-and-a-half left, but her goal was waved off by one official who called a foul on Nakashimada, and the Bruins' last chance for a tie with gone.
Kaylee Kolin made 13 saves in goal for George Fox, while Stephanie Herman had 15 stops for Alma.
NEXT: George Fox (0-1) will try again for its first win Monday when the Bruins host Pacific University (Ore.) at 5:00 p.m. Although both teams are in the Northwest Conference, there is no conference crown because there must be at least six schools with a team before it is officially recognized as an NWC-sponsored sport … Alma (1-1) plays at Pacific, the third of its four-game swing through the Pacific Northwest, Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. in Forest Grove, Ore.