Lopes reunite, compete against 16 former GCU athletes
Once a Lope, always a Lope.
A year after the pandemic wiped out the original date, Grand Canyon University Women’s Lacrosse was finally able to host an alumni match to reunite and battle against former GCU athletes. 16 ex-players faced off against the current team on Prescott Field on Saturday, where the current Lopes displayed how far the program has come, defeating the Alumni, 9-6.
“This group of alumni are super amazing and a huge part of our foundation and who we are today,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh. “They’ve been so excited to come out, and it’s just so heartwarming to see everyone come out here together.”
For many of the Alumni, who played for GCU between 2017 and 2020, it was their first time playing competitively in years. However, it didn’t take them long to shake off the rust.
“They’re hard fighters and they’re aggressive,” said Gallihugh. “It’s kind of like riding a bike for a lot of them, so once they get the stick in their hands, they just get right back into it. They’re a little more out of shape than they used to be from all the times I ran them, but besides that, their knowledge and their skills are still there.”
The Lopes started the match with a 3-0 run over the Alumni, until a goal from Emily Reverman put the Alumni on the board, followed by goals from Kelsey Wood (Class of ’18). However, the alumni still trailed by two going into halftime.
The alumni continued to gain ground on the Lopes with a goal from Lexi Ortt (Class of ’19) right out of the break. To make things interesting, Gallihugh joined the alumni side, scoring a goal on her current players. The Alumni continued to put up a fight, but struggled to get past the solid Lopes’ defense.
“It was a lot of fun, but it was harder than I thought it would be,” said GCU Alumni’s Maddie Magoon (Class of ’18) and Ortt. “Their defense was really good and they’re really athletic. We have some players who hadn’t played in years, so they were just more conditioned.”
Current GCU players Paige Loeffler, Jessie Ridgeway, and Kat Bambrick led the Lopes’ offense with two goals each, while Wood and Ortt led the Alumni with two goals each.
“My favorite part of the day was our team being able to see the past of our program and seeing those who were their role models and paved the way for them,” said Gallihugh. “Then it’s the exact reverse to the Alumni: seeing how good our program is, and getting to see all the newcomers and how they’re filling their shoes and bringing the program to new heights.”
The 2021 Lopes next take the field this weekend for the Saguaro Shootout at Colter Fields on the GCU campus. The tournament begins at 10 am.
Interested in GCU Club Sports? Visit our GCU Club Sports website to find out how to join!