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Playing in a steady drizzle on a chilly Friday night, the Barton College women’s lacrosse team made school history.
The Lady Bulldogs rallied from a slow start to defeat Coker College 14-9 in the first athletic contest to be played on Electric Supply Company Field, the new turf field on campus. While there is still much work to be done on the facility that eventually will be a stadium for the women’s and men’s lacrosse teams, as well as the football team that will begin play in 2020, a crowd of a few dozen hardy souls braved elements to stand on the sidelines and watch the first outdoor intercollegiate athletic contest to be played on the 117-year-old college’s main campus.
The NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Lady Bulldogs didn’t disappoint them as they reversed deficits of 2-0 and 5-2 to get their second victory against one loss.
Sophomore midfielder Kayli Ashenfelter led Barton with five goals, including the first one scored by a Lady Bulldog on their new field. Brooke Lonergan, also a sophomore midfielder, added three goals as the Lady Bulldogs of first-year head coach Regan Denham connected on 14 of 23 shots.
The Div. II South Atlantic Conference Cobras (1-2) scored twice in the first 10 minutes. Coker’s Katie Driskell slung in the first goal ever scored on the new field at the 24:30 mark before Alexis Zegan added her own unassisted goal with 20:25 left in the half.
Barton finally broke through on Ashenfelter’s goal with 18:45 on the clock on a pass from Angelina Scarpe, who then assisted Aryanna Fahnestock on the tying goal a little more than two minutes later.
Coker retaliated with a pair of unassisted goals by Faith Kent sandwiched around another solo strike by Driskell for a 5-2 lead with 12:32 to play.
With 10:03 remaining, Ashenfelter and Scarpa hooked up for another goal, starting a run of eight straight for the Lady Bulldogs.
Lonergan and Ashenfelter each had unassisted scores before Lonergan’s goal gave Barton its first lead with 3:36 to play. Junior Rebecca Fraser then found Ashenfelter for another goal before Fraser added her own unassisted score to end the half.
Morgan McGuffin, a junior midfielder, cranked in a shot just 21 seconds into the second half and freshman midfielder Lydia Hulshizer finished a pass from Fraser for Barton’s biggest lead, 10-5.
The Cobras weren’t done, however, as three straight goals by Gabby Jessup, Faith Kent and Meaghan Gallagher, trimmed Barton’s lead back down to 10-8 with a little more than 21 minutes remaining in the match.
However, Barton finally got some breathing room on an unassisted goal by Fahnestock with 11:57 left, followed by a Scarpe goal less than a minute later. Scarpa then collected her fourth assist on Ashenfelter’s fifth goal with 6:40 to go to push Barton’s cushion back to five goals.
Sophomore goalie Katherine Mattena registered three saves in notching her second victory.
Barton goes on the road for three straight games, including a match Thursday at North Carolina Wesleyan College, before returning to Electric Supply Company Field, where they are undefeated, on March 14 against Ohio Valley, when the weather may be more accommodating.