By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
It is true what they say: teamwork makes the dream work.
On February 4, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Lacrosse team defeated the Trojans of the University of Southern California (USC) at home, 20-4, continuing the team’s success and dominance as a first-year team in Division I.
As soon at the whistle blew, the Lopes took control of the match with a goal scored in the first 30 seconds. The Lopes controlled the majority of possessions of the first half, with quick precise passing and good movement, to go on a 6-0 run to dominate the Trojans. USC found a scoring opportunity late in the first half, but the Lopes finished the half strong with a two-goal run to end the half with an 8-1 lead.
The Lopes continued to stay well connected as a team in the second half, going on a four-goal run in the first six minutes to take a 12-1 edge. USC finally made strides into the Lopes’ defensive half as the match progressed, which resulted in two goals. GCU quickly responded with a three-goal run against USC to increase the gap to 15-3. USC found their final scoring opportunity with only nine minutes left of the game, but the Lopes were far from finished, shutting down USC with a six-goal run to finish the game.
Two of the three captains, senior attacker Kelsey Wood and junior midfielder Alexis Ortt, scored twelve goals between them, but both pointed out why they were successful.
“The match today against USC was another opportunity for us to prove ourselves competing as a Division I team,” said Wood. “I knew working together as a team would help us get this win and more to come.”
“In the first half we played to their level,” said Ortt. “We realized our mistakes, and we played like the team we are in the second half to dominate.”
Their coach thinks the team has found its rhythm.
“There was no nerves today, and girls worked more as a team,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh. “[A] majority of their goals were off assists rather than solo runs. They did more feeds and passing to find the open man to create more scoring opportunities, utilizing the whole team to score.”
Preparing for the Santa Barbara Shoot Out
The Lopes will hit the road next weekend to compete in the annual Santa Barbara Shoot-Out in California, where GCU will meet such top teams such as Brigham Young University and St. Mary’s College. “These two wins gave the girls great confidence, the opportunities to learn from our mistakes and play as a team which will help us against our competition at the tournament,” said Gallihugh.
“We have all the tools to succeed: the talent, the skills and the confidence,” added Gallihugh. “Everything is basically handed to them. It is up to the girls what they will do with it. If they utilize all the skill and their personal goals to reach nationals, I think we will do extremely well against these teams-not only in the shoot-out but throughout the rest of conference play.”
Interested in women’s lacrosse? Contact Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh to learn more!