RADFORD, Va. – Radford scored five unanswered goals to break a 9-9 tie with just over 23 minutes remaining Wednesday afternoon and held on for a 19-12 win over Gardner-Webb in Big South Conference women's lacrosse action.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (0-12, 0-2 Big South) played with grit on a soggy afternoon in the New River Valley, going on a 3-0 run to close the first half to trail just 8-7 at intermission.
After Emily Kowalik pushed Radford's lead to 9-7 with 27:19 left to play, Gardner-Webb's Emma Rose picked up a ground ball after a failed free position shot by the Highlanders (5-6, 1-1 Big South) and scored after a successful clear to pull GWU within a goal, 9-8, at the 23:57 mark.
Rose then won the ensuing draw control to give the Runnin' Bulldogs possession, and Amanda Steinmuller netted her 31st goal of the season – tying the game at 9-9 with 23:20 to play.
Gardner-Webb's effort forced a timeout by the home team.
Radford would take control just 20 seconds later, winning the draw control and getting a free position goal from Callie Bonnel with 23:00 on the game clock. That sparked a 5-0 run that ended on another free position goal – this time by Emma Rogers – for a 14-9 lead with 18:37 to play.
Abby Hanscom found the net to break up the run at the 15:20 mark, but Radford scored three straight to take a 17-10 lead with 7:36 to play.
Steinmuller's fifth goal of the game with 4:02 on the clock cut the lead back to 17-11, and Hanscom struck again to make it 17-12 with 2:01 to play – but Radford padded its lead with two goals in the final 90 seconds to secure the win.
The Highlanders outshot Gardner-Webb 46-29 on the day, held a slight edge in ground balls (24-23) and were successful on 21 of 23 clears.
Adrian Ruis (five goals) and Rogers (four goals) led the Radford offense, with three other Highlanders scored three goals each.
Gardner-Webb was paced by Steinmuller (five goals, two assists), who exited the game with 32 goals on the season. Hanscom added three goals on five shots, while Rose and Maddie Stephens each had two goals.
Rose also had a game-high six ground balls.
Gardner-Webb will return home to begin a two-game homestand, hosting Presbyterian on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm in Spangler Stadium. The game will air live on The Big South Network (bigsouthsports.com).