Women’s lacrosse opens season with tough loss to Drexel

The+womens+lacrosse+team+struggled+to+score+until+the+end+of+each+quarter+against+Drexel%2C+losing+with+a+final+score+of+4-16+last+Sunday.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+GoLeopards%29

The women’s lacrosse team struggled to score until the end of each quarter against Drexel, losing with a final score of 4-16 last Sunday. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Eric Ponieman, Contributing writer

The women’s lacrosse team traveled to Philadelphia on Sunday, Feb. 20 for their season opener against Drexel. After a dominant performance from the Dragons, the Leopards were defeated with a final score of 16-4.

The home team’s offense came out flying, scoring four goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. 

“I think Drexel did a great job coming out hot against us. They definitely did not hold back and came to prove a point,” senior attacker Olivia Cunningham said.

In the final minute of the first quarter, freshman midfielder Sophia Spallone finally notched the first goal of the Leopards’ 2022 season, marking the first score of her collegiate career.

“I think all of the underclassmen played outstanding and I am so proud of them for stepping up to the occasion to play a top twenty team. They had so much hustle and heart in our game, and I am so proud of their efforts,” Cunningham said. 

The Dragons leaped ahead in the second quarter, adding seven goals before the end of the half. Lafayette took advantage after Drexel lost a player to a yellow card, with their second goal coming from sophomore midfielder Clare Culligan with 20 seconds left on the clock in the quarter. 

“I think we did a great job in the midfield against Drexel. We were able to clear the ball up the field to the offense after coming up with huge defensive stops, so I am really proud of the defense and midfield for that,” Cunningham said. “In terms of offense we could’ve worked through our offensive systems a little more and seen all the options that our plays were giving us.” 

Once again, Lafayette scored late into a period when junior midfielder Katie Chiasson hit the mark with a little more than 15 seconds left in the third quarter. The Dragons were up 14-3 going into the fourth. 

The Leopard’s defense played a stronger final quarter with Drexel only netting two points, their lowest-scoring period.

Cunningham sent a rocket to the back of the net with six minutes left for her first tally of the 2022 season. The Lafayette veteran has been starting for the Leopards since her freshman year. 

“Being a senior is definitely bittersweet,” Cunningham said. “It’s my last season here at Lafayette, so I am really excited to see what we can accomplish as a team.”

Two goalkeepers shared playing time for Lafayette, with both sophomore Lexie Coldiron and freshman Molly Terraciano defending the net. 

The match ended 26-21 in shots, 21-15 in ground balls, 8-7 in draw controls and 10-5 in saves all in favor of Drexel. 

“I think we beat ourselves a bit with the number of turnovers we had, so we will definitely focus on taking care of the ball this week in practice,” Cunningham said. “The defensive stops were definitely there on Sunday but we need to come up with every ground ball in order to make those stops count.”

The Maroon and White play their first home game of the season against La Salle tomorrow at 11 a.m.