via Ave Maria Press release/website
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.- The Ave Maria University lacrosse team returned to full strength on Tuesday, but could not ride the momentum from their upset of Siena Heights, falling 21-2 to the sixth-ranked Cumberlands Patriots. Cumberlands scored the first eleven goals of the match, and scored five or more goals in all four quarters to cruise past the Gyrenes.
Cumberlands scored on their second possession of the afternoon and never looked back, scoring eleven unanswered goals to start the match. The Patriots were able to keep control of the ball for much of the match on the draw, winning 16 of the day’s 26 restarts. When the Gyrenes got the ball, the Patriot defense forced 18 turnovers, directly causing eight of them.
After the eleven unanswered goals from Cumberlands, the Gyrenes got on the board late in the second quarter. Newly named NAIA National Player of the Week Orianna Eldridge scored for AMU, with Ave Maria all-time assists leader Hannah Shaffrey adding another to her total. Cumberlands then scored another ten goals in a row before Eldridge scored her second of the match, this one assisted by Claire Ichniowski, in the closing moments of the match.
Elie Coyle was AMU’s top defensive player against Cumberlands, leading the way with three ground balls and a caused turnover. Francesca Paige also added three ground balls, while Abbey Seiler, last week’s Sun Conference Offensive Player of the Week, collected six draw controls, a high for a player from either team. Hannah McConologue played all 60 minutes in goal for AMU, making eight saves against a relentless Cumberlands attack.
After two games in Kentucky, the Gyrenes return to the Sunshine State for their next matchup. Ave Maria will battle Gordon College from Massachusetts, an NCAA Division III member. The Gyrenes and the Fighting Scots are scheduled to meet Sunday in Clearwater, with opening draw of the first-ever matchup between the schools set for 2:30 p.m.