The Ashland University lacrosse team scored the first four goals on Sunday (April 7) afternoon and held on for an 11-10 win over Maryville at Ferguson Field for the first home win in program history.
The Eagles (3-6, 2-4 GLIAC) actually led 11-4 with 20 minutes to play in the game before the Saints (1-12, 0-10 GLIAC) finished by scoring the final six goals. The Eagles were able to earn the final draw control and hold onto possession for the last minute to secure the win.
"Overall, I thought we had moments of brilliance, then other moments of not-so-brilliance," said head coach Shaun Williamson. "We've been working hard on playing consistently and with confidence. We had 20 minutes of really good lacrosse in the first half, and in the second half we only played about a good 10 minutes, but luckily for us we scored enough goals in those 10 minutes to hold off Maryville."
The Eagles finished the weekend with a split against the two St. Louis-based GLIAC teams after nearly a full two weeks off from competition as they enter the second half of the season with their eyes set on a conference tournament berth.
"The first week we worked on some fundamental things, and also keeping our conditioning up," Williamson said. "The second week was focusing on games like Maryville, because these are the games we have to win to get into the conference tournament."
Junior Renee Ruppert got the Eagles the opening lead with 25:31 left in the first half off a pass by senior Lauren Taylor. Ruppert's goal was followed by goals from junior Brittney Hart, senior Haley Abraszek and junior Sofia Michael to give the Eagles a 4-0 lead.
Maryville scored the next two before Michael responded with 7:22 left in the half to make it 4-2. Freshman Cora Wilson scored Ashland's final two goals of the half to take a 7-3 lead into halftime.
"Cora is a kid who is starting to figure some things out," said Williamson. "She played basketball growing up her entire career and she's starting to realize that lacrosse offense isn't too much different than that. If she lets things come to her and not think through everything, good things happen. That's what happened today for her, she made some plays, things we see from her in practice. It was good to see from her.
The Eagles scored four of the first five goals of the second half, including three from Michael, to take an 11-4 lead with 20 minutes to play.
The Saints did not go away and eventually cut their deficit down to 11-10 with 57 seconds left, but Abraszek won the ensuing draw control and the Eagles held possession until the horn.
Michael led the Eagles with five goals while Wilson set a career high with three goals. Ruppert had a goal and two assists.
Freshman Corynn Schneider faced 14 shots and made four saves for the Eagles. Bri Laster and Claire Martin had three goals each for Maryville.
AU had a 27-18 edge in shots and led in draw controls, 12-11.
The Eagles now travel to Lewis for a crucial Wednesday (April 10) night GLIAC tilt in Romeoville, Ill. First draw is set for 7 p.m.