Knights Win Season Opener After Dominate Second Half Against Marlins

Knights Win Season Opener After Dominate Second Half Against Marlins

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Southern Virginia University women's lacrosse team opened their season with a victory over Virginia Wesleyan Wednesday night by the score of 17-12. 

Offensively, freshman duo Alissa Johnson and Tayllor Deim led the way for the Knights (1-0) recording their first career points with six apiece. Johnson ended her night with five goals and one assist while Deim recorded two goals and one assist. Senior Lauren Thatcher followed closely with five points in the form of three goals and two assists. 

On the defensive end, Chloe Mitchell anchored the defense with four caused turnovers, while Alex Vacanti chipped in three of her own. Kelsey Ray and Hannah King added to the effort with two caused turnovers as well. 

The first half saw Southern Virginia University down one goal early off an Avery Frangelli free position goal two minutes into the half. Shortly after, Deim found an open Mitchell to put the first goal of the season in the books and tying the game at one. The Marlins (0-1) gained possession of the ensuing two draw controls and used both earned possessions to score two consecutive goals to put Virginia Wesleyan up 3-1 with 24:08 remaining. 

Thatcher showed her vision dishing out two assists to Mitchell and King to knot the game at three apiece. Sydney Winterton then scored the following possession with an unassisted goal to give the Knights their first lead of the game. The Marlins concluded the first half scoring five unanswered goals jumpstarted by a Mikayla Callahan goal to provide Virginia Wesleyan the 8-4 lead heading into half time.

At the break, Southern Virginia University outshot the Marlins 15-11; however, Virginia Wesleyan capitalized on its free-position shooting scoring three goals on four free-position attempts. The Knights dominated the ground ball battle 18-8 but struggled at the draw circle, only securing three out of thirteen draw controls. 

Johnson got the scoring going for Southern Virginia University two minutes into the second half with her first goal of the game to cut the deficit to three goals 8-5. Following a goal by the Marlins to extend their lead 9-5, the Knights answered with a three-goal run with goals from Thatcher, Johnson, and Deim to bring the team within one goal 9-8 with 19:25 left in the game. 

After exchanging goals, Virginia Wesleyan sat with an 11-9 lead with 16:37 on the clock. Johnson tallied her fourth goal of the game with 15:56 left to bring Southern Virginia University within one 11-10. Deim then tied the game again with her second goal of the game with 13:09 remaining and with 10:44 on the clock, Mitchell gave the Knights their first lead of the game 12-11. The Marlins scored one more goal to tie the game for the final time before King gave the lead back for Southern Virginia University 13-12 with 7:57 remaining. The Knights ended the game with four more unanswered goals to lock in their victory on opening day. 

Southern Virginia University ended the game, winning the groundball battle 31-16 while going 10-for-18 in the second half on draw controls. The Knights outshot the Marlins 43-22 while causing 17 turnovers. Southern Virginia tightened up its defense in the second half forcing Virginia Wesleyan to go 1-3 on their free-position shots. 

The Knights continue their season on the road taking on Sweet Briar on Feb. 18. The opening draw is set for 4 p.m.