Women’s Lacrosse Steamrolls George Mason in Home Opener

The Monmouth University women’s lacrosse team, who were projected to finish sixth in the CAA Women’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll, opened up their season in victorious fashion, routing George Mason 18-9 at home at Kessler Stadium on Feb. 10. The Hawks now have their first ever win over George Mason after dropping their previous three matchups.

The Hawks got off to a roaring start, scoring the game’s first six goals unanswered. Five of those were unassisted. Sophomore attacker Carli Mangum, who scored the fourth goal of those six, was assisted by sophomore midfielder Danielle McNeely. McNeely managed to add two goals of her own in the first and second periods, respectively, sending the Hawks into halftime with a 6-2 lead.

Freshman attacker Shea Berigan could not have asked for a better start to her collegiate playing career, scoring four goals on four shots. The goals came at the perfect time for the Hawks, with two in the third quarter and two in the fourth quarter to help squash any comeback aspirations from George Mason. For her efforts, Berigan was named CAA Women’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week on Feb. 13.

Sophomore attacker Caroline Brennan and grad student midfielder Cassidy Orban also scored four goals, like Berigan. The outstanding performance by the trio accounted for 12 of the 18 Hawks goals, single handedly out-scoring George Mason themselves. Brennan also managed two assists, while Orban produced one of her own. Seven different Hawks, including sophomore attacker Mya Brock and freshman attacker Grace Curtin, found the back of the net, aiding Monmouth’s fifth consecutive home opener victory.

George Mason never truly stood a chance, as their four-goal halftime deficit was as close as they came to the Hawks’ lead. A seven-goal third quarter put things out of reach for George Mason, before the Hawks’ five-goal fourth quarter locked the door and threw away the key, sealing an 18-9 victory.

Brennan’s hat trick was the eleventh of her career, and Orban’s hat trick was the ninth of her career.

Alongside Berigan, freshman goalkeeper Gia Mitchell also made her collegiate debut seeing some significant action, making five saves through three quarters of her playing time.

In addition, Brennan has scored in 17 straight contests, and Orban is right behind her with a streak of her own, having notched a point in each of her last 20 appearances. Understandably, head coach Jordan Trautman could not have been happier with this sort of start to the season. “I’m so happy for our players that we kicked off the 2023 season with a win at home. Today was a great day to see all the work during the preseason pay off. I’m really proud of this group and excited for what’s to come,” Trautman said.

Prior to the game, on Feb. 1, Orban, Brennan, and senior defender Brianna Falco received preseason honors from the CAA. Orban and Brennan were named to the Preseason All-CAA Women’s Lacrosse Team, while Falco was named as a Preseason All-CAA Honorable Mention. All three players have been fixtures of Monmouth’s team in the past, receiving a combined boat load of MAAC honors in their careers thus far.

The Lady Hawks will aim to continue their strong start on Feb. 15, when No. 8 Rutgers travels down to Kessler Stadium at 2 p.m.