Despite going 1-2 in three critical Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association games, the women’s lacrosse team still had a chance to make the UCAA tournament and Nationals. UR beat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 9-6 on April 22, but suffered an 11-7 loss to Hamilton College and a 12-8 defeat by William Smith College April 18 and 19, respectively.

The Yellowjackets struggled against a scrappy RPI team, but thankfully scrappiness was about all RPI had.

“We really gutted our way through the RPI game. It was not pretty, but it’s a win,” coach Andrea Golden said.

The Yellowjackets looked off in the first 25 minutes of the game but things started to get on track when sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Sack scored a goal off a well-timed assist from sophomore midfielder Emily Riegel with 3:59 left in the first half to knot the score at 2-2. Emily Riegel kept the momentum alive when she scored off a free position shot less than a minute later.

With unpredictable play and a 3-2 lead UR needed for another goal before they could claim the half as theirs. With 12 seconds left, sophomore midfielder Rachel Hawley came up with a ground ball and sprinted up field. After a whistle against RPI, eight seconds remained and Hawley found junior midfielder Katie Riegel wide open. Katie Riegel attacked the cage and scored with two seconds left. “We needed that goal. It was a big goal going into halftime,” Golden said.

UR opened the second half with three unanswered goals, putting the Yellowjackets on top 7-2 and held on from there.

“We didn’t do anything great. Our stickwork and ball control were adequate, but nothing special. We came away with a key UCAA win, but we need to improve in our next games,” Golden said.

Emily Riegel showed up big with four assists and a goal. Junior midfielder Sharon LaVaute also raised her play and made a solid contribution as a two-way player. Katie Riegel and Hawley each put in two goals the offense worked well out of set plays.

UR will traveled to Union College April 25 and faced Skidmore College on April 26. These games determined the team’s NCAA fate.

“These two games are going to be exciting, and we will need to play at our highest level to come away with two wins,” Golden said.

UR needed to win both of its games against Union and Skidmore. If they had, UR would have locked up a trip to the UCAA tournament, and if victorious there, they would have moved on to the NCAA national tournament.

“We had brilliant moments against Ithaca College, and scored eight goals against a solid William Smith team so we know we can play,” Golden said.

The Yellowjackets were not able to capitalize on their opportunities and lost both the Union and Skidmore games and finished with a 3-5 record in the UCAA.

UR closed out their season with a disappointing loss to Nazareth College on April 30. The Yellowjackets suffered a 10-4 defeat and dropped to 6-7 on the year and missed out on postseason play.

Fitzsimmons can be reached at

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