BRIDGEWATER, Va. - A 10-3 halftime Eagles lead was a large enough gap to hold off a late Bridgewater rally, as the Juniata women's lacrosse team won 17-13 for their seventh-straight victory of the season.
Grace Gibbs led the way in scoring for Juniata with seven goals, while Peyton Goodrich and Kyndall Yeager each collected four. Gibbs' seven goals are the most for her in a single game this year. Kelliann Drummond had three of the team's four assists, a single-game career high for the sophomore.
Tess Ledeboer and Lauren Metzger each tallied four ground balls, while Gibbs led the Eagles with four draw controls. Maeve Kuser had a team-high two caused turnovers with two ground balls and a draw control. In goal, Chloe Gerhard made seven saves on the day.
Bridgewater opened the scoring in the first ninety seconds with a free position shot. It took the Eagles three minutes to find an answer as Goodrich drove up the middle of the defense and fired over the goaltender's left shoulder from a few yards out. Shannon Para found the second just a couple minutes later, as Drummond found her making a run from behind the goal to the edge of the crease in front of the goal short-range conversion. Bridgewater leveled the scoreline within a couple of minutes before Gibbs found the third Juniata goal with a turn to beat her defender in front of the goal to retake the lead with five to play in the first period.
The Eagles' offense exploded in the second period for seven goals in a six-minute span, with just one Bridgewater goal to carry a 10-3 halftime lead. Four of the Eagles' eight free position shots of the day came in the period, while Gibbs collected three of her seven total. Yeager also had a hat trick in the period, while Goodrich had one.
The third period was back-and-forth in scoring, as each team scored five goals, and neither strung together more than two consecutive points.
Bridgewater pushed for the lead with a 5-2 fourth period, closing within four goals before the final horn sounded. They made use of two early woman-up goals in a stretch where they scored four goals in four minutes to get to 16-12. They were only able to find one goal the rest of the way. Yeager and Gibbs each scored one goal in the fourth.
The Eagles made the most of their free position shot opportunities, converting eight of 12 chances, the most converted this season. They had more ground balls (19-13), shots (38-30), and fewer turnovers (19-23) than their opponents.
The Eagles continue their Virginia spring break slate with a 4:00 pm game against Southern Virginia tomorrow.