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Ave Maria: Shorthanded Gyrenes Stun #10 Siena Heights

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

via Ave Maria press release/website


WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.- The Ave Maria University lacrosse team pulled off one of the most improbable wins in program history on Sunday, knocking off the tenth-ranked team in the nation despite playing the entire match one player down. With just eleven players on the field, the Gyrenes defeated the Saints of Siena Heights, 8-7, in a neutral site game on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. The memorable win was the first for head coach Katelyn Sherman in her AMU tenure.

It was a low-scoring affair in Williamsburg, with only the fourth quarter featuring more than four total goals between the two teams. Ave Maria jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening ten minutes, thanks to goals from Abbey Seiler and Sophie Paige. The Gyrenes were held scoreless for the remainder of the quarter, while Siena Heights scored twice in the span of 90 seconds to even the score at two. 

Scoring was at even more of a premium in the second quarter, with both teams finding the net just once. After five minutes of scoreless action, Orianna Eldridge put Ave Maria back in front with a goal at the 9:24 mark of the quarter. AMU held that 3-2 lead until the closing moments of the half, when Siena Heights’ Emily Pringle scored a goal with the Gyrenes two players down, tying the score at three heading to halftime.

Siena Heights took their first lead of the game in the third quarter, going ahead 4-3 on a goal from Maitland Fuentes with 9:22 remaining in the frame. Less than two minutes later, Seiler found the back of the net for the second time to even the score. The Saints took the lead into the fourth quarter, thanks to a Annamae Martin goal with just over six minutes to play in the third.

Down 5-4, the Gyrenes scored three straight goals in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Paige evened the score at five in the first minute of the fourth, and Eldridge followed with two goals in the span of 129 seconds to push the Gyrenes ahead, 7-5. Siena Heights rallied with two goals of their own, tying the score at seven with 9:01 to play. 

The Gyrenes won the ensuing draw, and got the ball into the hands of Seiler, who completed a hat trick with what proved to be the game-winner. Ave Maria then held on for the final eight minutes, a stretch that included a key save from Hannah McConologue on a Siena Heights free position shot. AMU was able to run out the clock, giving the Gyrenes the upset victory.

Seiler and Eldridge both posted hat tricks in the win, while Paige added three points of her own with two goals and an assist. Eldridge was also the team leader defensively, posting four caused turnovers and five ground balls. Seiler was key on the draw, helping Ave Maria to win 12 of the game’s 19 draws with seven controls. In goal, McConologue came up big with seven key saves.

Ave Maria has one more game in the Bluegrass State, as the Gyrenes will match up with No. 6 Cumberlands on their home field on Tuesday. Opening draw is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Williamsburg.