By: Ruby Arani / GCU Staff
Lopes’ Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh had a simple way of summing her team’s final weekend and first year at the Division I level.
“It was a good end of the season, and is setting us up for success in our next season.”
Over the weekend, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Lacrosse team traveled to San Diego, California, and split their weekend matches against the University of San Diego and San Diego State University.
Saturday against the Toreros of USD, the Lopes dominated the match early on, taking an 11-6 lead into the half. The Lopes kept the same strong mentality throughout the second half to secure the 17-12 win.
“We had possession for more time than the other team, which was good,” said Gallihugh. “One of the biggest contributors to that was our draw controls. We won the majority of the draws. We worked to score with almost every possession.”
Lopes’ sophomore midfielder Casey Friel led with four goals, five groundballs, two caused turnovers and seven draw controls Saturday. Gallihugh called the game the best of Friel’s college career.
Lopes’ freshman midfielder Jackie Buyse had two goals and one assist. “Buyse found her rhythm in this game and made such a great impact,” said Gallihugh. Lopes’ junior captain Lexi Ortt also added three goals, three assists, five groundballs, three caused turnovers and 10 draw controls; and senior captain Kelsey Wood led the team with seven points – six goals and one assist.
On Sunday, the Lopes took on the Aztecs of SDSU, holding their own throughout the first half to only trail, 7-4. Unfortunately, Ortt provided GCU’s only score of the 2nd half as SDSU remained undefeated in the South Conference of the Western Women’s Lacrosse Leagues (WWLL) with a 20-5 win.
“We played the first half of this game better than we had ever played before,” said Gallihugh. “The second half we just got outplayed. SDSU is a very experienced team with some of the best players in the league, if not the nation.”
Yet again, Friel led the Lopes with two goals. Wood had one draw, one assist and one groundball. Ortt had one goal, one assist, two caused turnovers and three draw controls, while Buyse earned one goal, two groundballs and two draw controls.
“Buyse had a great game,” said Gallihugh. “She really gave us a glimpse of how good she will become in the next few years.”
Though the weekend didn’t go in the favor of the Lopes, Gallihugh couldn’t be prouder.
“Overall, I am very proud of our team this weekend,” said Gallihugh. “Yes, we went 1-1, but we learned a lot as a team. I have never seen the team work as well together than they have this past weekend.”
Interested in Women’s Lacrosse? Contact Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh today!