The Oglethorpe women's lacrosse team got their season underway Tuesday night at Valhalla stadium in Mount Berry, falling to the homestanding Berry Vikings 9-5. The Stormy Petrels hung with Berry throughout the contest, never falling behind by more than six goals, but the Vikings prevailed in the end.
The Petrels fell behind by a goal twice in the early going and came back to even the score both times. Sophomore attacker Elena Gierok tallied a goal at the 20:15 mark of the first half after Berry had taken a 1-0 lead. Berry went back ahead 2-1 with about 15 minutes left in the half, but Gierok again tied the game a couple minutes later. However, Berry responded with five goals in a row over a 5-minute stretch, building a 7-2 lead with 1:30 left in the half. Oglethorpe sophomore midfielder Jill Czaplinski scored 15 seconds later to make it 7-3 going into halftime.
In the second half, Berry scored a couple goals over the first 15 minutes to take a 9-3 advantage. Oglethorpe answered with a couple of goals over a 3-minute stretch as junior midfielders Caroline Chamberlain and Madison Goss both tallied their first goal of the season. The Vikings held the Petrels scoreless for the final nine minutes, though, securing the win.
Gierok led the Petrels with two goals, while Goss finished with six draw controls and four ground balls. Sophomore goalie Jordan Chandler tallied eight saves on the evening on her 17 shots faced.
The Vikings outshot the Petrels 27-14, including a 17-12 mark in shots on goal. Oglethorpe forced 21 Berry turnovers, but committed 22 themselves. Berry outdrew Oglethorpe 9-7 and scooped 24 ground balls to Oglethorpe's 19.
"The team performed very well tonight and made proud to be their coach," said Oglethorpe head coach Brittney Hughes. "They played every second of the game, battled hard and supported each other the entire time. We are excited to get back to work and make adjustments to prepare for Saturday."
The Petrels will be back in action with their home opener Saturday afternoon, when they welcome Tennessee Wesleyan to the Oglethorpe Track and Field at 1 p.m. After that, they'll welcome Piedmont to Atlanta on Tuesday at 7 p.m.