NEWBERG, Ore. – Stepping up a level for the first time in their brief women’s lacrosse history, the George Fox University Bruins stayed close to the NCAA Division II’s Colorado Mesa University for 20 minutes before the visiting Mavericks pulled away in the second half for a 16-6 victory Tuesday afternoon here at the Austin Sports Complex.
Colorado Mesa jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the first half before Alexa Nakashimada put George Fox on the board with the first of her three goals at the 14:45 mark. The Mavs added two more scores for a 5-1 lead before the Bruins roared back with three goals in the space of 3:27, Nakashimada, Christine Doherty, and Jessica Adrian each scoring as the home team climbed within one at 5-4. Ashley Eickhoff scored with 1:0 1 left in the half for the Mavs as they built a 6-4 halftime advantage.
Eickhoff controlled the opening draw of the second half, raced downfield, and fed Kayla Lyall for a score only 12 seconds in, the quickest goal to open a period in Bruin history, and the Mavericks took off from there. Haley Kroll scored back-to-back goals to make it 9-4 before Nakashimada interrupted the run with a goal at the 23:27 mark, but Kroll and Allie Henderson scored 30 seconds apart as the Mesa lead reached 11-5. Adrian scored the Bruins’ final goal with 18:45 remaining before the Mavs tallied the last five goals of the game to win going away.
“Colorado Mesa’s a good D-II program that has been around a while, and we told our team to play hard for a full 60 minutes, which we did,” said George Fox coach Natalie Harrington. “We’ll only get better by playing teams like that who are better than us, and I thought we competed well.”
Nakashima was joined in the Bruins’ scoring column by Adrian with a pair of goals and Christine Doherty with one. Kaylee Kolin faced 27 total shots, 24 on goal, and made eight saves in the net, along with picking up a team-high six ground balls.
Kroll led all scorers with five goals for the Mavericks, Eickhoff added four, and Lyall, Henderson, and Lexie Chavez scored two apiece. Rachael Sutton had four assists and Eickhoff three. Lauren Wells faced 16 George Fox shots, 11 on goal, and made five saves.
Each team scored once off a free possession shot, and both teams made eight clears in 11 attempts. CMU held only a 24-21 edge in ground balls but a 16-8 margin in draw controls.
NEXT: George Fox (3-5) visits Pacific University Wednesday, Apr. 2, for a 6:00 p.m. match … Colorado Mesa (4-3) goes to the University of Puget Sound Thursday for a 12:00 noon match.