Yavalar Leads W&L Field Hockey to 2-1 Win over Juniata

Yavalar Leads W&L Field Hockey to 2-1 Win over Juniata

LEXINGTON, Va. — Junior goalkeeper Ariyel Yavalar (Baltimore, Md./Garrison Forest School) made 11 saves to lead the Washington and Lee field hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Juniata on Sunday at the W&L Turf Field.

Out of Yavalar's 11 stops, there was none more important than on the final play of the game. With the Eagles (4-3) trailing in the final seconds of the second half, the Generals (3-3) were whistled for a penalty corner as time expired.

Juniata inserted the ball on the near side to junior midfielder Meredith Shepherd. Shepherd fired a low shot to the near side of the cage, but Yavalar stopped the shot with a kick save. Senior defender Lilly MacDonald (Bluemont, Va./Foxcroft School) then cleared the ball to preserve the W&L victory.

The Blue and White scored the first two goals of the contest in the first 12 minutes of the opening half. In the ninth minute, senior midfielder Maggie Sands (Glen Arm, Md./Notre Dame Prep) had the ball at the top of the circle. She dumped a pass into sophomore forward Lauren Paolano (Huntington, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor), who then took two dribbles to the far post and fired a shot into the far side of the goal. It marked the third tally of the season for Paolano.

The Generals scored four minutes later off a penalty stroke. Junior forward Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va./St. Catherine's School) dribbled to in front of the cage from the near side, but was tripped, which initiated the penalty. Sands took the stroke for W&L and beat the keeper just inside the near post to push the lead to 2-0.

With 17:05 left in the second half, the Eagles trimmed the deficit to 2-1 on another penalty stroke. Sophomore defender Grace Kuszmaul took the attempt for Juniata and scored by lifting the ball inside the far post.

The Eagles had more scoring opportunities than the Blue and White in the game, taking 17 shots compared to 13. Juniata also held an 11-6 advantage in penalty corners. The 11 saves marked a season-high for Yavalar, and sophomore defender Olivia Hewitt (St. Louis, Mo./Visitation Academy) added a defensive save. Junior goalkeeper Kylie Edwards played the full 70 minutes for the Eagles and stopped six shots.

The Generals return to action on Wednesday, when they host 17th-ranked Mary Washington at 7:00 pm.

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