The Oglethorpe Lady Petrels lacrosse team lost its inaugural game 15-3 on Feb. 20 at the new Oglethorpe track and field.
LaGrange went ahead early and never let up. They were ahead 2-0 in the game’s first eight minutes, and went on to score nine goals in the first half.
However, the first goal in Oglethorpe history came at the 19:30 mark of the first half. Freshman Michelle Vasques tallied the historic goal for the Lady Petrels.
In the second half, LaGrange continued to score goals, though they scored six in the second compared with nine in the first, but Oglethorpe added two more, as well. Senior Katie Weeks scored at the 12:23 mark of the second half, and freshman Sydney Sparks finished the scoring for the Lady Petrels in the final minute of the game.
Sparks finished with four shots and two shots on goal along with five ground balls and seven draw controls. Vasques finished with six shots and three shots on goal. Ashley Haislip tallied two shots, both on goal, while freshman goalkeeper Hayley Flanagan stopped 15 shots.
LaGrange outshot Oglethorpe, 34-14, and the Lady Petrels committed 23 turnovers to LaGrange’s 13.
There was much fanfare prior to the game to celebrate the inauguration of the Oglethorpe women’s lacrosse team. There was a tailgate celebration prior to the game featuring “food on a stick” and the entire team was introduced before the game after running through a banner and onto the new turf field.
The new team consists of two seniors and one junior, but the rest of the squad is made up of underclassmen, potentially setting a strong foundation for the future. The midfield line consists of freshmen Sparks, Vasques and Tate Davis.
The team is a part of the six-team Southern Athletic Association Conference this year, with Rhodes and Hendrix joining the league next year. Sewanee Univ. and Berry College are expected to be the class of the league, but head coach Lee Ann Tutchton thinks the Lady Petrels should be competitive within the conference.
“Our goal within the conference is to accentuate our strengths with our emphasis on possession. If we do that, we should be competitive in the league,” she said.
The non-conference schedule highlights teams from a variety of sections of the country.
“I’m excited about our non-conference schedule,” Tutchton said. “We’ll get good national exposure with the teams we’re playing and most of them are young, just like we are.”
The team will face off against LaGrange, Piedmont, Aurora, Transylvania, Huntingdon, Pomona-Pitzer, Agnes Scott and Dallas this season.