After an opening season win against Claremont Mudd-Scripps the young UR lacrosse team was given a boost of confidence. Unfortunately, the Yellowjackets were immediately grounded when they faced SUNY-Cortland on Saturday in their home opener.
The Cortland Dragons bost a strong, aggressive squad whose accolades include a top ten national ranking and defending SUNY Athletic Conference champions. UR had their work cut out from the beginning.
In the first half it was all Cortland, as they opened up the game with four unanswered goals. Junior attacker Sarah Walker ended the scoring drought when she notched a goal off an assist from sophomore midfielder Emily Riegel. Cortland would go on to score two more goals before halftime, putting the Dragons on top 6-1 at the break.
The second half was not much different in the scorer’s book, but the pace of the game had definitely changed for the positive. “In the second half, we were able to see some positives, especially on the defensive end,” head coach Andrea Golden said. “Cortland was a great non-conference opponent, that I am glad we were able to get on our schedule. The game showed us a level of play where we are going to strive to be.”
UR opened the second half scoring when junior attacker Katie Riegel hooked up with sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Sack for the goal. Riegel would later add an unassisted goal to her assist to close out the game’s scoring.
Senior defender Susan Murray and sophomore defender Amy Hein showed improved handling of the crease. Junior goalkeeper Stephanie Bristol had a tough task in the net, but managed to record six saves.
Despite a stronger defensive effort, UR was outscored 6-2 in the second half, and lost 12-3. The game was marked by a failure to control tempo, as a result of turnovers and limited passing capabilities.
Up next for UR is a road trip to SUNY-Geneseo on Saturday. “If we are going to be successful at Geneseo we are going to have to protect the ball better and get into the cage harder on the offensive end,” Golden said.
Much of this weeks practice has included heightened focus on the passing game and attack. This young team will have the opportunity to show their maturation if they can come away with a win at Geneseo.
Fitzsimmons can be reached at email@example.com.