Lady Flames take rough losses, gain experience
It was aggression, along with a fast-paced and skilled offense, that helped the Hokies achieve an 18-2 win over the Lady Flames Tuesday evening, March 29 at Osborne Stadium. “They’re really aggressive,” a watching Flames fan said. She was referring to the players from the Virginia Tech Hokies lacrosse team, which accumulated a total of 22 fouls in last week’s game.
“Virginia Tech is always a good team, so we knew going into this that it was going to be a really good game for us to be able to see a higher level of competition,” head coach Regan Denham said. “We talked a lot about maintaining possession on attack, which we weren’t able to do (that evening).”
Freshman goalkeeper Kristen Masullo said knowing that Virginia Tech was going to be such a tough team to face led to nervousness among the Lady Flames as they headed out onto the field at the start of the game.
“This team is very fast, very quick, pretty tall (and) they had great ball movement,” team captain Chloe McIntosh said.
According to McIntosh, the Lady Flames knew coming into the game that it would take fluid movement and good defense to match the Hokies talent.
“We just knew that we had to play 110 percent in order to do well against this team since they are so great,” McIntosh said.
The energy was high but the Lady Flames fumbled on offense throughout the entire game and their side of the field was more frequently dominated by the Hokies than vice versa.
According to McIntosh, the Lady Flames defense was not nearly prepared enough in the first half for what the Hokies offense was going to do. She said that the Lady Flames have not faced a team this year whose players were that proficient with their stick skills.
In the second half the Lady Flames stepped up their defense and were able to stop the Hokies from scoring to the extent that the team had during the first half.
“We were able to play a little tighter,” McIntosh said. “We held them a little longer, we made some improvements.”
However, it was no match for the insurmountable lead the Hokies had at halftime or the team’s persistently aggressive offense. Masullo said that she hoped the Lady Flames lacrosse team could learn from the experience and match what the Hokies brought to the field.
“Not the fouls,” Masullo said. “But the aggression and the hunger.”
According to Denham, Tuesday’s game gave the Lady Flames a chance to experience a lot of the same strategy that it faced going against Jacksonville Friday, and also High Point later in the season. She said that both of those teams run a very similar offense and both are conference games.
“We’re feeling a little bit more prepared on what we’re going to see,” Denham said.
The Lady Flames suffered their first conference loss to Jacksonville, 23-4.
After Friday’s game, the Lady Flames are 4-5 for the season and 2-1 in the National Lacrosse Conference. The team’s next home game will be against Davidson on April 10 at 2 p.m.