The Fort Lewis College women’s lacrosse team was looking for a complete game against Colorado Mesa on Friday afternoon.
They got one ... almost.
Aside from a 4-minute stretch of four consecutive Maverick goals in the first half, the Skyhawks punished Mesa in their first home game of the season at Ray Dennison Memorial Field, using a crushing defense and a smooth transition attack to put goals in the net for a cold and cloudy 19-8 victory.
“I think it was close,” FLC head coach Kelsey MacDonald said.
Close to complete, even if the score, and the stats, never were close.
Fort Lewis jumped to an 8-0 lead by the final 9 minutes of the first half. Jessica Norby started it off for the Skyhawks; she scored 4:10 into the game on a free position shot that she slung between Mesa keeper Lauren Wells’ legs.
It was Norby’s only goal of the game, although she added two assists on the day.
Ally Kvidera led the Skyhawks with four goals, followed by hat tricks from twin sister Abby Kvidera and Brook Wineland.
Senior Jessica Adams, Kylie Smith, Kathryn Dunn and Amanda Hoffmeyer each scored two.
Eight of the goals were assisted as the Skyhawks peppered Wells with 45 shots – 35 of them on goal.
The scoring spread was indicative of the Skyhawks’ team-centric approach Friday, and Ally Kvidera said that unselfishness was critical in getting the W.
“That makes or breaks a game,” she said.
“We played really well together,” said Adams, a Montezuma-Cortez High School alumna. “That’s why we came out on top.”
Up 8-0, Fort Lewis stumbled through its 4-minute lapse in the final 5 minutes of the half. The Mavericks scored four goals during a 3½-minute span, aided by a procession of fouls, one of which led to a free position shot goal.
“There were a few minutes when we fell apart, but we came back together,” Adams said.
Assisted by her sister, Abby Kvidera escorted the Skyhawks out of their funk with a quick flip that found net as the halftime horn sounded. Then Ally Kvidera returned the favor after the break, adding an unassisted goal just 25 seconds into the second half.
From there, Fort Lewis kept on rolling against the occasional Mavericks’ goal.
MacDonald said the opposition struggled to find openings against her defense, which would crash down on attackers once they crossed the 8-meter line. She gave Amber Olsen a nod for cutting off the shooting lanes and hassling Colorado Mesa’s attackers.
On the day, the Mavericks got just 17 shots – 13 on goal – and FLC’s Genna Waugh made five saves. Mavericks’ midfielder Lexie Chavez led her team with three goals.
“Our defense was spot on (Friday),” MacDonald said.
Once the defense turned over the Mesa attack, quick and precise passes pushed the ball back onto the opposite side of the field and kept the Mavs’ D on its heels.
Adams said her team’s “amazing” transitions were the prettiest part of the victory as the ball flew down the field from crosse to crosse to crosse to goal.
“That’s what lacrosse is supposed to be,” Adams said.
Colorado Mesa will play Colorado College in a neutral-site game at 1 p.m. today at Ray Dennison Memorial Field before the Skyhawks (6-5, 2-4 Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) take on the Tigers at 1 p.m. Sunday.
MacDonald said playing another complete, team game will be vital against the 9-2 Tigers.
“We’re a pretty powerful team, I think,” Adams said. “When we want to win, we’re going to win.”