Megan Trout scored six goals and Brittney White added four to back a solid defensive effort as the Lee women's lacrosse team opened the 2023 season with a 16-6 victory at Tusculum on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Flames finished with a flurry scoring the final seven goals after the Pioneers cut the lead to 9-6 on back-to-back goals by Tia Daniel early in the fourth quarter.
White, one of the nation's top players in the draw circle, led the way with eight draw controls as the Lady Flames held a 16-10 edge in draws.
Caleigh Smith earned the win in goal for the Lady Flames as she recorded four saves and allowed just six goals.
White and Callie Curtis registered three ground balls each.
It was our first game of the season, and we had some opening jitters which can be expected as we had three freshmen starting plus two new transfers," said Lee head coach Derrel Martin. "Tusculum put defensive pressure on us early and we were not moving the ball quickly enough to defeat their defense. On our defensive end, I believe it was the same issue as we were playing nervous for the first half."
Daniel scored three goals for the Pioneers to lead the way. Kari Ham started and worked 52:44 in goal. She was tagged with the loss allowing 13 goals to go along with seven saves.
Lee held a 27-17 advantage in shots and 24-10 edge in shots on goal. The Pioneers committed 21 turnovers to 16 for the Lady Flames. Each team registered 17 ground balls.
Trout scored the first goal of the 2023 campaign just 2:30 into the contest. After a defensive battle in the first saw the Lady Flames hold a narrow 2-1 advantage, Lee scored four straight to take a 5-2 lead into halftime.
"We made several in game adjustments on both ends and with the draw that helped us gain some ground in the second half. Those changes led to more goals on the attack. Our defense locked things down late in the game and did a great job of clearing the ball. Caleigh Smith was strong in the goal and had some great saves," added Martin. "We will need to protect the ball better in our future games to give us more chances to score. Brittney White had a solid game with eight draws and four goals. Meg Trout did a great job on both ends and found the net six times."
The Lady Flames will head to Lenoir-Rhyne on Sunday, Feb. 12 for a 2 p.m. clash with the Bears. This will be just the second meeting all-time with Lenoir-Rhyne as the Lady Flames dropped a close battle with the Bears last season, 8-7.