BREVARD, NC – The University of the District of Columbia women's lacrosse team was defeated, 8-4 on the road at non-regional opponent Brevard College Sunday afternoon.
The Firebirds (1-2) were very much in contention for the program's first ever NCAA Division II victory as they headed into halftime trailing just 4-3, but the Tornados held UDC scoreless until the final minute of the closing half while they padded their lead to 8-3, and the hosts went on to win by a final of 8-4.
Senior Amber Walls had her third straight multiple goal game to start the season as she netted a hat trick in the first half to keep UDC in the mix. Two of her three goals came on free-position shots, where the Firebirds were 2-of-6 for the day, and the other goal was assisted by reigning East Coast Conference rookie of the week Amy Rock. Junior Jazmin Lopez scored UDC's last goal of the day with 23 seconds remaining, and she also tied for a game-high with five ground balls.
Brevard (2-2) was led offensively by attack Caitlyn Nemeth's game-high four goals and midfielder Nina Siu's three goals and one assist. Reserve Livia Harrienger registered a game-high three assists.
Junior goalkeeper Dani Falco also played a big part in UDC's remaining competitive throughout this game, as she recorded her 2nd consecutive game with 10 saves. This marks the second time this season she's stopped more shots than she's allowed goals. Brevard's Shelby Arsenault earned the victory with four saves on eight shots faced.
UDC won the draw control battle 11-3, but had double Brevard's turnovers (22-11) and four fewer shots (20-16). The two teams were very even in ground balls (BC – 27; UDC 26) and clears (BC – 12-of-17; UDC 11-of-16).
Neither team scored for over six minutes to begin play, but Siu opened the scoring at the 23:42 mark on a goal assisted by Harrienger. Nearly another six minutes went by before another goal was scored, but Walls evened the score at one-apiece just past the 18-minute mark.
Nemeth would score the game's next three goals to extend the host's lead to 4-1 with a little under seven minutes to play in the first half. But back-to-back goals by Walls in a span of 14 seconds allowed UDC to pull within one, 4-3. The Firebirds won the final draw control of the half and had a chance to tie, but Lopez's shot was stop by Arsenault.
Neither team scored for the first 14:24 of the second half, but Darden King's goal at the 16:36 mark gave Brevard all the insurance it would need. Another 12 minutes went by with no scoring before the Tornados extended their lead to 6-3 with another goal by Siu at 4:04. Nemeth then added her 4th goal of the day 13 seconds later, and Siu ultimately capped the 4-0 Brevard run with her 3rd goal with 42 seconds remaining.
UDC showed its unceasing resolve as Lopez scored her 4th goal of the season with 23 seconds left to make the final score, 8-4.
Next up, UDC will enter East Coast Conference play with a home contest vs. Dowling on Saturday, March 12th at 7 p.m. The game will be played at Georgetown's Cooper Field.