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Bryn Mawr Battles Back from Halftime Deficit to Steal Win at Notre Dame

Kylie Woo takes on Wilkes february 2020

BALTIMORE, Md. - The Bryn Mawr lacrosse team didn't let a little first-half adversity keep them from picking up another key win earlier Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Instead, the Owls turned a halftime deficit into their fourth straight victory to open the 2020 season. Kylie Woo and Sierra Hamilton each scored three goals in the comeback performance, while goalkeeper Jessica Calloway made five key saves to help the Owls get the win. Bryn Mawr's defense came up particularly large in the final stages of the game, holding the Gators scoreless over the last 9:32 of action to preserve a 12-11 win on the afternoon. Notre Dame was led by a tremendous five-goal performance from Sara Morales in the tough loss.

Bryn Mawr got off to a strong start in today's contest, as Woo scored back-to-back unassisted goals in the first 5:35 to give the Owls an early two-goal advantage. The Gators answered back with a goal of their own of a nice assist from Morales, but Bryn Mawr kept the early pressure up with two more goals. Maya DiFrischia scored an unassisted goal to bump Bryn Mawr's lead back up to two, and then Hamilton added her first of the day a minute later to make it a 4-1 lead for the Owls. However, Notre Dame stifled the Bryn Mawr offense from that point on through the rest of the half, and that allowed the Gators' offense to start chipping away at the deficit. Two goals from Morales helped spark a 4-0 run for the Gators, with the second coming with just 59 seconds left to play and giving the hosts a 5-4 lead headed into the halftime break.

Things didn't turn around immediately for the Owls in the second half, either. Notre Dame added two quick goals in the opening minute of the second frame, with Morales completing her hat-trick on a free position shot to give the Gators a 7-4 lead. However, Bryn Mawr did not get discouraged by the early setback. Instead, Jenna Van Holten scored a big goal just a minute later on a free position shot of her own, and that sparked a big four-goal run that got the Owls right back in the game. After a couple scoreless minutes, Hamilton got her second goal of the game. Then it was Meghan O'Shea's turn to get on the board a minute later, and Woo wrapped up her hat-trick a minute after that. Suddenly in that six-minute stretch, the Owls had turned things right back around and now held an 8-7 lead.

This time it was Notre Dame's turn to find a big response, with Morales sparking the rally. Her fourth goal of the day tied things right back up, and then goals from Julie Hagis and Kelsey Campbell gave the Gators a 10-8 advantage with less than 15 minutes to go in the game. A foul in the eight meter area gave Bryn Mawr their first chance for a response, and Sloan Johnson was able to find the back of the cage to draw the Owls back within one. Rebecca Long got in on the scoring a minute later, scoring an unassisted goal to knot the game back up at 10-10. Then Hamilton completed her hat trick on a great assist from Woo, firing the ball into the back of the cage to give the Owls the lead once again at 11-10. 

The Gators were able to find a response just 90 seconds later, as Morales' fifth goal of the game tied things back up at 11-11. However, the Owls would not be denied, as Johnson struck once again on another free position shot less than a minute later to get Bryn Mawr back in front 12-11.

From there, the game suddenly became a defensively charged affair, as Notre Dame sought another tying goal while the Owls fought to kill the rest of the clock and seal the win. Notre Dame came up with a caused turnover right after Johnson's go-ahead goal, but a turnover in their own end gave Bryn Mawr a free position attempt. The Owls were unable to do anything on that effort, but strong pressure and a relentless attack from the Owls' front seven kept the ball in Notre Dame's own end for five minutes. The Gators were finally able to clear their own end and get a free position attempt of their own with 1:55 to play, but they never got a shot off on that possession.

Bryn Mawr once again was able to take the ball down the field and kill some more clock, with a shot from O'Shea going just high of the cage at the end of the Owls' possession. Notre Dame finally got the ball back with less than a minute to play, but they were still able to generate one final chance. With just seconds to play, an Owls foul gave the Gators a free position shot with three seconds to play. Loren Pardoe stepped up to take the shot for the hosts, but Jessica Calloway came up huge when the Owls needed her most. The sophomore goalkeeper made a fantastic save, stopping the shot as the horn sounded to give the Owls a massive 12-11 win.

With today's win, the Owls move to 4-0 on the season, their best start to a campaign since the 2004 season. They'll look to make it five in a row when they return to campus next week for a contest against Rutgers-Camden. That game is slated to take place at 4:00 PM on Tuesday afternoon on Applebee Field.