The Elon University women’s lacrosse team was one point away from earning its first victory of the season on Feb. 27, but could not secure an overtime goal against the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers, losing 15-14.
Elon trailed 10-7 at halftime as Coastal finished the second quarter on a 6-0 run. The Phoenix responded in the third quarter, scoring three goals to tie the game at 10-10. A goal with less than a second remaining gave Coastal an 11-10 advantage heading into the final frame.
Elon took a 14-13 lead with 3:03 remaining in regulation when freshman attacker Cierra Hopson scored her second goal of the game. However, Coastal Carolina tied the game 44 seconds later. Elon had two chances in the final minutes to win the game, but shots by senior Cate Mackel and junior midfielder Hannah McCarthy missed the net.
Coastal Carolina won the opening draw of overtime and had a scoring chance on its first possession when Abi George fired a shot on goal from directly in front of the net, but freshman goalie Chloe Herghelegiu made her ninth save of the game to keep the match alive for Elon.
“For a freshman goalie to make a save like that in overtime is really great,” head coach Josh Hexter said. “She played well. I’m seeing improvement with her and I thought she did a good job today.”
On Elon’s ensuing possession, senior midfielder Gillian Curran took a shot from close range, but it was stopped by Coastal Carolina goalie Claire Martell. Curran, who leads Elon with 14 goals this season, led Elon with four goals in regulation.
“We had one of our best players with the ball and she actually had a good look,” Hexter said. “I trust Gillian to make those shots most of the time and when our best kid can get a look like that, we’re doing a pretty good job.”
But as Coastal attempted to gain possession of the ball, Curran committed a foul and was handed a yellow card by the referee, forcing her to go to the bench and leaving Elon shorthanded. With 45 seconds left in the first overtime period, Coastal’s Hannah Demis scored to give the Chanticleers the win.
“I applaud our effort,” Hexter said. “I love this team and I love how hard we play.”
With the loss, Elon is now 0-4 on the season, but Hexter believes the team is close to getting over the hump if it can clean up its execution.
“For a young team like ours where we’re learning how to play disciplined, once we figure that out and we really can play smart, disciplined, fundamentally, we’re going to be really great,” Hexter said.
During the game, sophomore midfielder Margaret Stephan scored four points — two goals and two assists — to tie Curran with the team-high. Senior attacker Bella Feldman scored three goals on four shots for her third hat trick of the season.
Hexter said he was pleased with how his team rebounded from the difficult first half.
“We played a little more fundamentally sound,” Hexter said.
Elon will complete its season-opening five game homestand on Mar. 2 when it hosts Campbell University at Rudd Field. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.