LEXINGTON, Va. -- In Saturday's round one action of the NCAA Division Women's Lacrosse Tournament, Meredith College lost 11-5 to a strong defensive team in the University of Mary Washington. Jennifer Halvorson, Jordyn King, and Molly Miller led the Avenging Angels with two points apiece.
For the second time this season, the Avenging Angels faced their toughest defensive pressure in today's match with Eagle goalie Hanna Ashby one of Division III's leading keepers. UMW ranks sixth nationally with a 5.47 scoring defense and topped Meredith 12-4 in the pairs' first match of the season.
Mary Washington managed to shut out Meredith's top offensive player Carlee Joseph, who scored just one goal in five attempts, the last one of the match. Overall the Angels led with 16 draw controls and 12 caused turnovers and recorded just three more turnovers than the Eagles.
After controlling the opening draw, the Angels gave up the opportunity with a quick turnover. But Cameron Ruffin interfered with Mary Washington's attack to give the ball back to Meredith.
The Avenging Angels worked for a free position attempt but another misstep sent the Eagles back the other way. UMW scored their first of back-to-back goals on a free position attempt as the Eagles notched a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of play.
Miller battled for the next draw in favor of Meredith and recorded an assist on Holly Hite's goal to put the Angels on the board at 23:12.
The success was short lived as Mary Washington went on a 5-0 scoring run to hold a six goal advantage at the half.
The Eagles would hold onto that lead until King netted a solo shot during the second minute of the second period. Haley Whitfield stopped the next Mary Washington attack, but the Eagles defense forced an MC Lax turnover to control the pace once again.
Joseph stepped in to cause a UMW turnover at 25:32, but the Angels would not hold the ball long. Mary Washington's Sabrina Elliott finished off the series for an 8-2 lead.
Hite collected the draw control, but Maria Codispoti's attempt during the offensive attack flew wide. Sarah Arbes forced an Eagle turnover just outside the box on the opposite end, and Whitfield picked up the ground ball for the Angels.
After a Meredith clear attempt, King assisted Halvorson in her first goal of the match to cut UMW's lead to five at the 16-minute mark.
The Eagles reached the cage five minutes later to continue their hold over Meredith.
Whitfield saved the next UMW attempt, and Katie Sills collected the ground ball to send Meredith on their way to another clear. Head Coach Lauren Scott called for a timeout to settle her team with 9:38 left in the match.
An aggressive free position attempt from Halvorson during the next play was stopped by Ashby, and a UMW turnover gave the Angels another chance at the net. But another Eagle save left Meredith still trailing by six with time running out.
At 4:30 Whitfield stopped a one-on-one fastbreak attempt by the Eagles, but Meredith lost possession during the clear attempt.
A pair of late goals for the Avenging Angels demonstrated a strong Meredith team unwilling to fold, but Mary Washington finished off the win to advance to Sunday's second round versus the host Washington & Lee Generals.
Halvorson notched two goals, and Miller tallied as many assists, while King finished with one apiece. Arbes led the match with four caused turnovers, and Ruffin recorded three, adding three ground balls. Hite led the day with three draw controls, adding one goal, and Alyssa Codispoti tallied three ground balls with one caused turnover.
Whitfield recorded a match-high four ground balls with seven saves in goal for the Avenging Angels, and Ashby earned the win for the Eagles with five stops.