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Ave Maria: Gyrene Lacrosse Shocks Nation’s No. 1 Team

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in , , , .

via press release/website


AVE MARIA, Fla.- The Ave Maria University lacrosse team stunned the No. 1 team in the nation on Thursday, beating the Ravens of Benedictine College, 14-12, at Gyrene Field. The win marks one of the biggest in program history as Ave Maria’s first-ever win over a team ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll. The Gyrenes controlled most of the game against the Ravens, taking the lead in the second quarter and never relinquishing it. 

The first quarter was somewhat of a feeling out process between the two teams, with only three total goals scored. Benedictine scored first just over a minute into the game, but Orianna Eldridge immediately answered back with a goal just over a minute later to even the score. Five scoreless minutes would pass before the next goal, the last of the quarter, which came when Allison Fifield scored on a free position shot. 

Benedictine tied the game early in the second quarter, but Ave Maria would respond with three consecutive goals to give AMU the lead for good. Abbey Seiler, Eldridge, and Hannah Shaffrey all found the back of the net during this stretch, as Ave Maria built a 5-2 lead. The Ravens and Gyrenes would then trade goals in the final six minutes of the first half, with goals from Seiler and Eldridge allowing the Gyrenes to take a 7-4 lead into halftime. 

In the third quarter, Benedictine grabbed some momentum from the Gyrenes, scoring four of the first six goals of the half to trim Ave Maria’s lead to 9-8 with three minutes to play in the third. Ave Maria bounced back in a major way in those last three minutes. Eldridge scored again for Ave Maria’s tenth goal, then the Gyrenes forced a turnover that led to a goal from Monrae Prentice, giving the Gyrenes an 11-8 lead with 15 minutes to play. 

Her goal at the end of the third quarter started a huge stretch for Prentice, who controlled each of the first four draws of the fourth quarter to help the Gyrenes stay in control. Benedictine would never again get closer than two goals to the Gyrenes, who were able to salt away one of the biggest wins in the history of the program with two goals from Seiler and another from Shaffrey. 

Eldridge and Seiler continued to be focal points of the Gyrene attack. Eldridge scored a team-high five goals and added another assist, while Seiler led the team with seven points on four goals and three assists. Eldridge also tied for the team lead in both ground balls and caused turnovers with three each. Prentice and Seiler led AMU on the draw with nine and seven controls, respectively, while Emily Durr came up huge in her first start in goal, making nine key saves.

Following the historic victory, the Gyrenes return to Clearwater for their second neutral site game in the last eight days. Sunday’s opponent will be the University of New England, who hold a current record of 3-1. Opening draw between the Gyrenes and the Noreasters is scheduled for 2:00 pm at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex.