Lopes fall 20-13 to Tempe in championship game
Shorter field. Less players. More improvement.
The Grand Canyon University Women’s Lacrosse team split its returners and freshmen into two separate teams for a two-day, short-field tournament, earning a 3rd-place finish for the GCU Freshmen, and a runnerup finish for the GCU Returners after losing to Tempe in the championship game.
“It was a fun weekend to get the girls on the field, get a lacrosse stick in their hand, and give them a little extra competition,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh. “They weren’t real competitive spring season full-field games, but it was a lot faster pace of a game because there were draws, so it helped work on their endurance and we just had fun with it.”
The Lopes adapted quickly to the new environment at GCU’s Colter Fields, hosting the tournament where the field was half the size of a typical lacrosse field, and only seven players from each team were on the field at once.
The GCU Returners kickstarted the weekend with a dominating 23-11 victory over Utah. The Lopes went 3-1 on the day, with a one-point loss to the Arizona Storm standing in the way of an undefeated afternoon.
The GCU Freshmen finished with a 2-2 record, including wins over Utah and the Storm. The two GCU teams went head-to-head for the final matchup of the day, where the GCU Returners came out on top, 13-7.
“A lot of the teams were smaller, and we didn’t have many subs, so everyone got a lot of playing time,” said Gallihugh. “Splitting up the freshmen and returners gave everyone more chances to get better and play their game instead of being outshined by other people.”
The Lopes headed into Day 2 seeded second and third behind top-seeded Tempe. In the first round of games, the GCU Returners redeemed themselves against the Storm, defeating them, 20-16, to advance to the championship game, while the GCU Freshmen suffered their second loss to Tempe.
To finish out the tournament, the GCU Freshmen defeated Utah, 33-18, to take third place. After beating them by three points in Day 1, the GCU Returners faced Tempe for the championship game, but lost to Tempe, 20-13.
“We lost a couple of girls for the second day, so that really had an effect on things,” said Gallihugh. “Everyone was able to step up, and I’m really proud of how hard everyone played.”
The Lopes take the field one final time this season on Saturday, Mar. 27, to face the Arizona Storm starting at noon at GCU Stadium.
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