Harding, Belva tally 10 goals to guide VWC past Randolph-Macon
VIRGINIA BEACH -- It took awhile for Virginia Wesleyan College's women's lacrosse Marlins to get a handle on Randolph-Macon College's quick shot offense, but once they did it forced a change in momentum.
Virginia Wesleyan used a six-goal scoring surge covering the end of the first half and the start of the second half to take control en route to a 15-10 Old Dominion Athletic Conference victory over the Yellow Jackets on Foster Field at the Trinder Center.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with R-MC and marked the highest scoring output by a Virginia Wesleyan team against the Jackets. Senior Tara Harding (Waterford, N.Y./Clifton Park Shenendehowa) (left) and junior Natalie Belva (Colorado Springs, Colo./Liberty) (right) were catalysts in that offense, both scoring five goals. It was a career-high output for Belva, who has scored 15 goals in the last four games, and extended a scoring streak to nine straight games for Harding.
R-MC (5-6, 3-2) led 7-4 with 14:27 remaining in the first half after Erin Clare Cassidy (Potomac, Md./Holton-Arms) fired the ball into the net, but Virginia Wesleyan (6-6, 3-2) closed out the half with two Harding goals sandwiching a scoring shot fromCourtney Williams (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown).
That created a 7-all tie at halftime, which ended 51 seconds into the second half. Rookie Lauren Davis (Middleburg, Va./Mercersburg Academy, Pa.) scored to give Virginia Wesleyan a lead it would not lose. Belva and Harding followed with goals in the next five minutes and the Marlins were in front 10-7.
R-MC came back to within one after goals from Elyse Cooper (Crownsville, Md./Old Mill) and Stephanie Serena (Prince Frederick, Md./Calvert), the latter scoring with 16:41 remaining in the game. VWC withstood the pressure however, and scored five consecutive goals to push out to a 15-9 lead with just 2:13 remaining.
VWC outshot the Jackets 35-24 and posted a 33-20 advantage in ground balls. R-MC took a 15-11 edge in draw control wins, led by Cassidy with five.
Brittany MacKnew (Abingdon, Md./Bel Air) and Michelle Mace (Dumfries, Va./Woodbridge Forest Park) recorded three saves each in goal for VWC. Alex Flammia (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) posted 12 saves for R-MC.
VWC competes again on Apr. 9, on Senior Day, hosting Sweet Briar College in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference game beginning at 4 p.m.