ECU women’s lacrosse tops Old Dominion for first AAC victory

Megan Pallozzi ECU Lacrosse
Megan Pallozzi ECU Lacrosse(ECU Athletics)
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 10:35 PM EDT
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NORFOLK, Va. (ECU) – An early run and a 3-1 finish helped the ECU women’s lacrosse team top Old Dominion 12-9 on Friday afternoon.

ECU improves to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in AAC play while Old Dominion falls to 2-6 and 0-1 in conference. It is the first win in conference play in ECU’s history, after the Pirates went 0-5 in 2019 and did not play any league games in 2020.

ECU could not have gotten off to a better start. The Pirates ripped off the games first five goals to jump out to a lead. Megan Tryniski had assists on the first two goals, setting up Nicole LeGar and Frances Kimel before LeGar scored an unassisted goal. Ellie Bromley added a man-up goal followed by Camryn Pennypacker adding a fifth.

The Monarchs finally got on the scoreboard at the 21:52 mark in the first half when Lindsay Baer scored off a pass from Danielle Dundas. However, LeGar completed her hat trick in just over 12 minutes by scoring her third goal of the day at 17:31, this goal off a give-and-go with Kimel.

The two teams traded 2-0 runs, first Corrinne Stratton and Lilly Siskind scoring for the Monarchs, followed by consecutive ECU goals by Kimel and Tryniski.

Old Dominion began to crawl back into the contest over the final 10 minutes of the first half. After Tryniski’s goal, the Monarchs finished the opening stanza on a 3-1 run, with only a goal from Pennypacker staunching the Old Dominion run. That made the score 9-6 in favor of the Pirates at the break.

After the high-scoring start to the game, the Pirates offense took a while to get going in the second half. Old Dominion got a goal with 26:39 remaining in the game to cut the deficit to 9-7.

From there though, both defenses took over the game. There was more a stretch of more than 14 minutes without a goal by either team. The Pirates forced four turnovers in that span, including two by Liz Blumthal, while Ashley Vernon made three saves. Despite that strong defense, the Monarchs finally broke through with 12:31 to go, as Haley O’Connor scoring to make the score just 9-8.

With the lead cut to the narrowest of margins, ECU needed someone to make a play and it was LeGar and Kimel who stepped up. LeGar won the ensuing draw. That possession led to Kimel setting up LeGar who scored her fourth goal of the day to regain some breathing room.

The Pirates did not rest on that two-goal lead. Tryniski extended the lead further when she scored during another man-up opportunity, this goal set up by LeGar. Tryniski completed a hat trick of her own just over a minute later when she scored an unassisted goal.

While Tryniski’s tally was the final of the day for ECU, it was enough as Old Dominion could muster just one more goal over the final five minutes.

ECU finished with a 32-24 edge in shots and 19-14 edge in ground balls. Old Dominion held a 13-10 lead in draw controls, but the Monarchs turned the ball over 22 times compared to just 14 for the Pirates.

LeGar and Tryniski each finished with five points to lead East Carolina with Kimel right behind with four. LeGar added five draw controls while Blumthal caused a pair of turnovers. Vernon made nine saves in the cage for ECU, her fifth straight game with at least nine saves, and scooped up four ground balls.

The Pirates and the Monarchs will meet once again on Sunday afternoon. That contest will get started at 1 p.m.

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