CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Elon University women’s lacrosse junior Abby Godfrey scored on a free position shot with one second remaining to give Elon an 11-10 victory over No. 13/14 Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Klöckner Stadium.
The win is Elon’s second victory over a nationally-ranked team in program history. The Phoenix (2-0) also beat No. 8 Duke last season, 7-6, also in the closing seconds. With the victory, head coach Josh Hexter has now won 100 games as a head coach.
“This is a great win for our program,” Hexter said. “I am mostly proud of the way we competed today and for how much heart we showed never backing down. It was a total team effort in every way.”
Godfrey’s goal was her second of the day on three shots. She also had a game-high four draw controls to go with two ground balls and one caused turnover. Stephanie Asher led the Phoenix for the second game in a row with five goals. She has now scored 10 goals in two games this season. Sloane Kessler also scored twice on the afternoon. Alexis Zadjura had a big afternoon on the defensive end with three draw controls, two ground balls and two caused turnovers. Rachel Ramirez made six saves in the cage and grabbed a team-high three ground balls.
Virginia (0-1) was led by two goals apiece from Kasey Behr, Besser Dyson and Kelly Reese while both Behr and Dyson tied with a team-high two ground balls. Both Lilly DiNardo and Maggie Jackson added one goal each.
In a game relatively even across the board, Virginia only outshot Elon 27-25 but the Phoenix held a 13-9 advantage in draw controls. Elon converted on 13-of-14 clear attempts while Virginia converted 17-of-20. A big difference was Elon’s 75 percent conversion rate in scoring three free position goals on four attempts while Virginia converted at just a 20 percent rate, scoring one goal on five attempts.
Elon got on the board first with Asher’s first goal of the afternoon, but Virginia answered with a 4-1 run to lead 4-2 with 9:59 to play after Behr scored both of her goals during the run to build Virginia’s largest lead of the day.
Down by two, Elon responded with three goals from Godfrey, Asher and Kessler to lead 5-4 with less than five minutes to go in the frame. Shortly after, Dyson knotted things up for the Cavaliers as the two teams went to halftime all square at 5-5.
Like the first half, Elon got on the board first in the second half with another goal from Asher, but it was answered by two UVA goals. With 19:42 to play, though, Elon started a 4-0 run that spanned the next 3:36 of game action to lead 10-7 with 16:06 to play. But Virginia clawed its way back over the next nine minutes of play with three goals to knot things at 10-10 with 6:34 to go.
Down the stretch, neither team could break the tie until Godfrey broke through in the final seconds with her free position goal. Sammy Mueller committed a foul with three seconds to play that led to the chance and Godfrey capitalized with a shot that beat the goalie high to the left post.
The Phoenix will return home for three consecutive games starting Wednesday, Feb. 15, against Winthrop. Opening draw at Rudd Field is set for 6 p.m. It will mark the first-ever meeting between the Phoenix and Eagles.