HILTON HEAD, S.C. - The Bryn Mawr lacrosse team has been enjoying their spring break with a trip to sunny South Carolina, and their hard work and prep paid off earlier Wednesday afternoon. The Owls used a potent offensive attack and some timely saves to hang on for an 11-10 victory over St. Mary's (Ind.). Fiona Steele led the Owls with four goals and two assists to spearhead the Bryn Mawr offense, while Katie Alpert made 12 strong saves in the cage to keep the Owls out in front.
Bryn Mawr (2-0) got the scoring started just under ten minutes into play in the game, thanks to a free position goal from Erica Dwyer. That opener ended up being the start of a four-goal spurt for the Owls in less than four minutes, cut in half by a lone St. Mary's goal. Senior Georgina Dominique doubled the Bryn Mawr lead with a second goal 90 seconds later on a transition play. The Belles (1-2) responded with a goal of their own on a free position shot after a yellow card. However, immediately after that a sweet feed from Dwyer allowed Oona Ryle to find some space in the middle, and she fired the ball into the cage to make it 3-1. Dwyer capped off that run a minute later with one more free position goal to give the Owls a 4-1 lead. Ryle scored once more a few minutes later, this time off an assist from Steele.
St. Mary's would make an effort to come back in the first half, and got a good start on that with two goals in ten minutes, making it 5-3. However, a free position goal from Steele ended that effort abruptly. The Belles did score one last time just before halftime, sending the teams into the break with Bryn Mawr holding a slim 6-4 lead.
The Belles trimmed the deficit to one with the first goal of the second half just over four minutes into play. St. Mary's then tied the game by winning the draw and racing immediately downfield to score once more. Bryn Mawr responded immediately with an answer just seconds later, thanks to another free position goal from Steele. Dominique stretched the margin back out to two with her second goal of the day a minute later.
The game turned into a whirlwind affair over the final twenty minutes, with both sides scrambling to try and gain some momentum. Early on in that frame, it looked as if things would go the way of the Belles, as Emilie Vanneste scored three straight goals to give St. Mary's their first lead of the game at 9-8.
However, it was Bryn Mawr who controlled the final ten minutes of play to hang on. Steele tallied her third goal of the game on another free position opportunity, and then she made a great pass to Ryle for the go-ahead goal just 90 seconds later. St. Mary's would tie the game with one more goal just seconds after that, but the final crucial plays belonged to the Owls. First, Steele tallied one more free position goal to make it 11-10 in Bryn Mawr's favor. Then, with just 24 seconds left to play, Alpert made her biggest save of the night, stoning a St. Mary's free position shot to clinch the victory for Bryn Mawr.
Tonight's win marks the first 2-0 start to the season for the Owls since 2013. They'll look to make it 3-0, a feat they have not accomplished in 12 years, when they face off against Delaware Valley next Wednesday. Bryn Mawr will host the Aggies in the home opener on Applebee Field, with the game slated to start at 4:30 PM.