SPRINGFIELD — The William & Mary lacrosse team opened its season with an 11-10 overtime loss against George Mason on Friday evening at The St. James in Springfield, Va.
After neither team scored during the initial 3-minute session of overtime, Mason’s Morgan Gunn tallied the game-winner off an assist from Hailey Zutic with 2:00 remaining on the clock.
W&M led by two late in regulation, but the Patriots evened the score with a pair of goals by Shannon Tuozzo and Kate Elam in the final two minutes.
Mason took its largest lead of the game, 7-5, early in the third quarter, but W&M rallied back by scoring five of the next six goals to earn a 10-8 advantage midway through the fourth quarter before Mason’s final flurry sent the game to overtime.
No team led by more than two goals and any point during the game, while the tightly contested matchup featured six ties and six lead changes.
The Tribe utilized a balanced attack offensively as eight different players scored at least one goal.
Freshmen Finley Hoffman and Chloe Pierini both came off the bench to lead W&M offensively in their collegiate debuts with two goals apiece, while junior Justyce Barber totaled a team-high four points. Sophomore Kate Draddy dished out a pair of assists.
Ainsley Huizenga posted a team-best three draw controls, while senior Courtney Vasquenza led the Tribe defensively with three ground balls.
Junior goalie Elise Palmer totaled 10 saves and posted a .476 save percentage.
Inside the Numbers
Both teams totaled 30 shots apiece, while Mason held a narrow 19-18 edge in shots on goal.
W&M owned a 12-11 advantage in draw controls, while the Patriots totaled more ground balls (16-10) and committed two fewer turnovers (18-20).
Tuozzo led Mason with a game-high three goals and fie draw controls, while Gunn (2g, 1a) and Chloe Reed (2g) also found the back of the cage multiple times.
Defensively, Ciara Curtis posted a game-high three caused turnovers and four ground balls.
W&M is now 36-18-1 all-time in season openers … Despite the setback, W&M still controls the all-time series, 9-5 … The loss snapped W&M’s five-game winning streak in one-goal games, which dated back to the 2022 season.
W&M will return to action when it hosts Old Dominion at Martin Family Stadium on Feb. 17 at 1 p.m.