LEXINGTON, Va. — Senior midfielder Maggie Sands (Glen Arm, Md./Notre Dame Prep) notched an overtime game-winning goal to push the Washington and Lee field hockey team past Lynchburg, 4-3, on Wednesday at the W&L Turf Field in the ODAC opener for both teams.
Junior midfielder Haley Tucker (Manakin-Sabot, Va./St. Catherine's School) also registered her first career hat trick and Head Coach Gina Wills recorded the 150th victory of her career in the contest.
The two squads entered the extra period tied, 3-3. The Generals (5-4, 1-0 ODAC) were awarded a penalty corner 1:14 into overtime, but the two ensuing shots by the Blue and White were saved. A second corner was whistled after the second save was played dangerously, and this time W&L took advantage.
First-year midfielder Abigail Hancock (Darien, Conn./Darien) inserted the ball to the near side to Tucker, and she immediately fired the ball at the cage. First-year goalkeeper Laurel Nicks stopped the shot, but the rebound went directly to Sands in the center of the circle. She quickly settled the ball and slapped it into the cage to give the Blue and White the victory.
The Hornets (6-3, 0-1 ODAC) held a 16-14 edge in shots, but W&L took four in overtime, while LC failed to register one. Junior goalkeeper Ariyel Yavalar (Baltimore, Md./Garrison Forest School) made eight saves in 71:22. First-year Hannah Chapman started in goal for the Hornets, allowing three goals in 12:17 of action with one save. Nicks played the final 59:05, stopping six shots with one goal allowed.
Tucker tallied her hat trick in the opening 12:17 of the contest to give the Blue and White a 3-0 lead. All three came in a span of 3:49 of game action. Her first happened 8:28 into the game. Tucker controlled the ball at the top of the circle, and then dribbled through multiple defenders before flipping the ball past the keeper for the tally.
Tucker's next goal came 2:30 later in the contest off a corner. Sophomore defender Olivia Hewitt (St. Louis, Mo./Visitation Academy) inserted the ball to Tucker on the far side, and Tucker then took a long shot that deflected off a defender and into the goal.
The final goal for Tucker occurred just over a minute later. She had the ball on the end line on the far side, and once again dribbled through multiple defenders. She finished the play by sending the ball to the far post to push the lead to 3-0.
The advantage stayed at 3-0 though halftime, but the Hornets scored three times in the second half to even the game. Junior forward Kayla Copeman notched the first two goals on almost identical plays.
In both cases, Lynchburg inserted the ball off a penalty corner with it ending up on the stick of junior midfielder Nikki Simpao on the far side. Simpao sent a long ball toward the cage and Copeman would deflect it both times into the goal.
The Hornets tied the game with 11:18 left in regulation. On a counter attack, junior forward Isabella Eldridge and Simpao had a two on one with Yavalar. Eldridge took a shot from the far side that was saved, but Simpao was right there for the rebound to knot the contest, 3-3.
Lynchburg had one final opportunity to win the game with a penalty corner as time expired in the second half. Off a pass from the far side to the near post, senior midfielder Karissa LeMaire's shot was saved, as Yavalar slid in at the last second to force the game to overtime.
With Tucker's three goals, she now has 22 in her career to sit in seventh on the W&L all-time list. Candice Stefanic '15 is sixth with 23. Tucker is also the 12th player in program history to have at least three goals in a single game.
Wills now has a record of 150-58 (.760) across 11 seasons, coaching DePauw (eight seasons) and W&L (three seasons). The Generals return to action on Wednesday, October 4, when they play at Eastern Mennonite at 5:00 pm.
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