By: Ruby Arani / GCU Staff
Facing stiff competition in a day-night doubleheader to open the home side of their 2019 schedule, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Lacrosse team dropped both halves of the twin bill, falling, 14-3, to the Aztecs of San Diego State University Saturday afternoon, then losing to the Rams of Colorado State University, 15-7, Saturday night. Both games were held at Prescott Field on the GCU campus.
To kick off the home opener, the Lopes began conference play against defending Western Women’s Lacrosse League (WWLL) South Conference Champion SDSU. The Aztecs dominated possession throughout the first half, taking a 7-0 lead at halftime. The second half was more of the same, with SDSU opening the half on a five-goal run. The Lopes finally caught a break in the final ten minutes when senior captain Lexi Ortt scored off a penalty to get on the board, then added a pair of goals late.
“Against SDSU, we played a lot of individual lacrosse,” said Gallihugh. “This made our game slow and lazy, which SDSU took to their advantage.”
Saturday night, the Lopes took on CSU in the first-ever matchup between the two squads. Early in the first half, the Rams gained a quick lead with a four-goal run. The Lopes finished the half on a high note with a goal scored in the last 20 seconds by sophomore attacker Isabella Lardieri, but still trailed at halftime, 9-3.
The Lopes played the Rams much more even in the second half, finding the net four more times before falling, 15-7.
“Every competition is going to be hard, and we saw that today,” noted Gallihugh. “Today’s competition is preparing us for the tough competition we are going to face in Santa Barbara. We played two games today, now we know how it feels to play two games. We have a better expectation of what to expect and we can better prepare for.”
Preparing for Santa Barbara Shootout
This coming weekend, the Lopes are traveling to Santa Barbara, California to compete in the annual Santa Barbara Shootout, the premiere pre-season event for Women’s College Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) teams from across the region. The Lopes begin play against University of Utah Saturday – a matchup their coach likes.
“Utah mirrors us in many ways,” said Gallihugh. “Like us, Utah moved up to Division I in their conference last season, and has a lot of similarities. I wanted to make sure we played a team outside our region to get exposure to different teams and playing styles.”
On Sunday, the Lopes will take on both the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Davis. Both teams compete in the WWLL in the DI Central Conference. “Both teams are always solid teams, but UC Berkeley is going to be the toughest matchup for us in the whole tournament,” remarked Gallihugh.
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