The women’s lacrosse team’s game on Saturday, March 19 was — pardon the cliché — like a roller coaster. With prowess and finesse, the Yellowjackets would time and again build a lead over opposing Rochester Institute of Technology, and the home crowd would breathe a sigh of relief. This started as an easy day at Fauver Stadium, a relaxing game it seemed the‘Jackets would coast through.
Fans cringed, however, when — like clockwork — the momentum then swayed in the opposite direction. The ever-hungry Tigers, never to be counted out, came roaring back with many a surge of their own. The score was dead even once more.
Such was the story of the sun-doused afternoon on Saturday: the home team would battle for the lead, only to be tracked down by the dangerous RIT offense.
The match-up between the cross-town teams was everything any good rivalry promises to be, and more. The seemingly never-ending procession of ups and downs tested the Yellowjackets’ desire and drive, and ultimately proved both, as the home team prevailed, 12-11.
UR got things going early. The ‘Jackets slowly constructed a 3-1 lead, to the resounding approval of a highly-spirited crowd anxious to fill Fauver and support their friends and family for the first game at the stadium in 2011.
Not to be outshone in their hometown, the Tigers clawed their way back into contention with a 6-1 run to close the first half. Gray clouds moved in to replace the blue sky, and it seemed as if the unseasonably warm day could be ruined for fans of the yellow and blue by the small legion of orange and black that gleefully celebrated on one side of the field.
Junior Niki Holmes, however, wasn’t about to let this continue.
The attacker led a mad charge to open the second half, scoring two of Rochester’s five unanswered goals that gave the home team a slight edge, 9-8, with 19:09 remaining.
RIT’s Shelby Vakiener attempted to quiet a rejuvenated crowd by returning the favor with two goals (she had five on the day to lead the Tigers) to bring the score to 11-10 with 9:43 to play, but couldn’t stop UR sophomore midfielder Liza Maizel from finding the back of the RIT net just one minute later.
Tied 11-11, the game hit a standstill for almost seven minutes, as solid defensive efforts on the part of both squads shut down what had been a considerably high-scoring day.
Then, with just over three minutes to play, Holmes sprinted up the field with the ball and made a quick pass to classmate Kayleigh Hogan, who instinctively converted for the ‘Jackets’ twelfth point of the day. UR had the lead, and they wouldn’t lose it again.
In the game’s final minutes, the Rochester offense played a game of keep-away to squash any chance of the ball falling into the able stick of Vakiener or her RIT teammates.
With the win, UR improved to 1-2. The team suffered its third loss of the season on Tuesday, March 22 with a 15-6 loss to the SUNY Brockport Eagles.
The Yellowjackets take on Nazareth College on Thursday, March 24.
Bernstein is a member of
the class of 2014.