Women’s Lacrosse Wins 2 of 3 Over Break

WLax2The women’s lacrosse team spent their spring break unlike typical college students as they versed three difficult teams across the country. 

The team sparked their three game excursion with a 14-11 loss to Saint Joseph’s University on Saturday, March 14. SJU got off to an early start courtesy of Nora McCallion who had two goals within the first five minutes of play. Within ten minutes of the opening whistle, SJU was winning 3-0.

Junior attackman Marial Pierce put MU on the board with 19:37 remaining in the first half, but SJU responded with two goals of their own from Maura Monti. 

MU senior Emily Barbieri and sophomore Olivia Higson each added a mark of their own to cut the lead to two. Shortly after Barbieri’s goal, SJU pulled ahead by one more score courtesy of Julia Falcone. 

MU showed a burst of energy, scoring three consecutive goals over the span of seven minutes. 

With the score at an even 6-6 and less than a minute in the first half, SJU lengthened their lead to two once more.

Pierce gave MU hope at a victory by tying the game once again at 9-9 with 17:26 left to play. Unfortunately, SJU crushed any hope with four consecutive goals making it a 13-9 game. With five minutes remaining, MU’s back-to-back effort was not enough and with a second left in the game, SJU’s McCallion secured her team’s win.

MU goalkeeper, senior Katie Donohoe, made five saves during the game. SJU’s Sarah Smith lead the game with five goals while Higson lead MU with three goals. The Hawks outshot SJU 26-22 and had 18 more fouls. Each team had 20 turnovers.

“I think today was about making too many mistakes, too many fouls, too many turnovers,” Head Coach Denise Wescott said. “To give them three goals in an empty goal cage, right there are the three goals we lost by today.  In my mind I thought we hurt ourselves today.”

MU overcame their three game losing streak in Fresno, CA on Thursday night as they won 8-7 against Fresno State. Higson had a career-high five goals on five shots, including the game winning goal.

Fresno State opened the game with three consecutive goals followed by five MU goals, three of which came from Higson. 

As the second half opened, MU was ahead 5-3, but Fresno State score three consecutive goals to take the lead. 

The game stood still for the next 12 minutes until Higson scored an unassisted goal to knot the game at six. A free position shot from Pierce put MU ahead by one and another unassisted goal from Higson gave MU a two goal lead. Fresno scored the final goal of the game.

“We fought hard to come back and our offense scored when we needed it but we need to possess the ball better,” Wescott said. “Olivia Higson did a great job driving to the net and her shooting was on fire. We’ll take the win but there are things we could work on.”

MU’s Caroline Huelster has eight saves in the contest; Fresno’s Mary Weissenfels made ten saves. The Hawks had a 22-19 advantage over Fresno.

The Hawks concluded their spring break with a 15-7 win over the University of Oregon in Fresno, CA. Senior captain Allison Stathius led both teams in goals with four while Pierce led both teams in assists with four.

With a rather mediocre first half, both teams provided for an unbelievably exciting second half. Oregon got on the board less than two minutes into play, however, MU lead 4-1 at half. 

The second half opened with a two goal exchange to make the score 6-3 in MU’s favor. With 20 minutes left in the contest, MU made seven consecutive goals, three of which came from freshman attacker Alexa Smith and two courtesy of Stathius. 

Oregon scored back-to-back goals to which MU responded with back-to-back goals of their own. As the scoreboard showed 2:22 remaining, Oregon attempted a comeback but fell awfully short securing the game’s final score.

MU’s Donohoe made 12 saves in the contest while Oregon’s Janelle Parker collected 13 saves. The blue and white outshot their opponent, 33-23, and had four more draw controls.

In light of her team’s victory, Wescott said, “We did a nice job riding them in the beginning of the game, creating turnovers which created some goals for us. I thought the whole team played really well. Our defense protected the middle well and offensively we moved the ball better than we have all season to find some open players.”

After this week’s conquest, MU has a 5-3 record. They will begin their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play on Wednesday, March 25 against the Niagara Purple Eagles. Game time is set for 2 pm in Niagara, NY. The Hawks currently are 3-0 on the road.