The Oglethorpe women's lacrosse team earned its first victory of the season Wednesday evening at the Oglethorpe Track and Field, blitzing the visiting North Carolina Wesleyan Battling Bishops 22-7. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to 1-4 on the season heading back into SAA play on Saturday.
The Petrels got an impressive seven goals from sophomore midfielder Jill Czaplinski, four assists from sophomore attacker Balie Mitchum, and a couple of excellent performances at goalie from two players that don't normally play the position, junior Sedaries Mathis and sophomore Elena Gierok.
Czaplinski scored first for the Petrels, then she followed at the 22:46 mark off an assist from Gierok (playing the field in the first half) to put the Petrels ahead 2-1. Gierok scored two minutes later to make it 3-1. The two teams traded goals a couple more times, putting Oglethorpe ahead 4-3 with 10:45 remaining in the first half. At that point, though, the Petrels went on a tear and took complete control of the game before the halftime break. They notched 10 consecutive goals in a 9-minute span, vaulting themselves to a 14-3 lead with 1:05 left in the period.
They took that advantage into halftime, then stretched it out even further in the second half. scoring six of the first seven markers of the period. That including a couple of goals from sophomore midfielder Jalisa Kassam as well as one from freshman attacker Kelly Hanley. The Petrels cruised to a 15-goal victory in the end.
Nine different Petrels scored a goal in the contest, including Gierok with four and Mitchum with three. Sophomore defender Dreshona Mapps-Whitmore led the Petrels with six ground balls, while junior midfielder Madison Goss collected a team-high six draw controls and fellow junior midfielder Caroline Chamberlain came up with five.
As a team, the Petrels outshot North Carolina Wesleyan 45-16, including 35-10 on goal. Oglethorpe outdrew the Battling Bishops 20-10, picked up 21 ground balls to their opponents' 15, and forced 23 turnovers while committing just 15. The Petrels were successful on 19 of 21 clear attempts.
"I think we've been working very hard for this victory," said Oglethorpe head coach Brittney Hughes, "and I was glad that our team finally got the reward. I think that all of the little things that we did well in this contest added up to this win. We've been focusing on our tenacity, and on playing every single minute of every single game, and I think you saw the product of that tonight. We'll enjoy this win tonight, but tomorrow, it's time to get back to work and prepare for Sewanee. We need to keep focusing on the things that we did well today, and clean up our play in a few areas, and we'll be ready for a tough opponent in Sewanee on Saturday."
The Petrels will host the Tigers Saturday at 1 p.m. from the Oglethorpe Track and Field. After that, they'll welcome Brenau to campus Tuesday at 4 p.m. before taking some time off for spring break.