After a rough start to the season, the women’s lacrosse team pulled off two impressive road wins over the past two weeks.

This year, a strong and talented freshman class, along with reliable veterans and intense off-season training, has created a deep and dependable team.

“We have a lot of depth this year, which is what we always strive for – especially in the midfield,” head coach Liz Monte said. “We are the most fit that we’ve ever been. The team has stressed workouts in the off-season and we’ve been injury free.”

One of the deepest parts of the team is its midfield. Senior Lisa Aronoff and junior Alanna Tievsky will be there to guide the way, as they are joined by Abby Woodward, Lindsay Dakin and Erica Gelb. Also, sophomores Jayne VanSchaick, Bridget Hoffman and Rhea Lyons will be available for extended support.

Line defenders include juniors Laura Giusto and Adrienne Soprinski, as well as returning starter and sophomore Mimi Hong and sophomore Maureen Dooley, who was hurt last season. They’re joined by freshmen Megan Jenkins, Sierra Laventure-Volz, Amanda James and Marlena Fisher.

Finally, goaltending duties go to freshman Leslie Dube.

“She’s very strong and focused,” Monte said. “She’s comfortable out of the cage.”

The Yellowjackets started off with a trip to Florida over spring break, where they played the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons, who were ranked in the top five in pre-season polls. Cortland took UR 15-8, as Dakin scored a team-high four goals and junior Christina Montano and Giusto scored two goals apiece. Freshman goalie Leslie Dube also had 10 saves that day.

“I’m very happy with the way we played,” Monte said. “Cortland’s a tough opponent for an opener, and I felt we responded well.”

The Red Dragons got ahead early with a 4-0 lead, but UR took back some power.

“We finally started winning draw controls, so we could possess the ball in midfield rather than come up with a turnover,” Monte said.

However, it wasn’t quite enough, as Cortland maintained its composure and its lead and pulled away with the victory.

After returning to New York, the Yellowjackets headed to SUNY Brockport last Tuesday, where they were edged 11-10 in triple overtime. Dakin had five more goals at this match.

UR redeemed itself, however, in its Liberty League openers over the weekend.

Friday, the Yellowjackets traveled up north to play Clarkson University – playing at SUNY Potsdam due to variable weather. UR downed Clarkson 13-4, playing off of scoring balance and strong defense. Woodward had four goals and five ground balls, Aronoff had two goals, one assist and three ground balls and senior Carrie Voycheck had two goals and one assist.

Clarkson scored the first goal of the game, but Woodward scored two within 50 seconds and Aronoff scored a third 11 seconds later. After a second goal from Clarkson, Dakin scored to kick off a 10-0 run over two periods.

Dube made 10 saves and three of the four Clarkson goals came off free position shots.

Dakin, Fisher and freshman Mary-Kate Hannan scored one goal apiece.

A 8-4 win at St. Lawrence pulled the Yellowjackets’ overall record to 2-2 and their Liberty League record to 2-0. They are now tied with three other teams for first place in the league.

Montano scored twice in less than six minutes and goals from Dakin, Hannan and Tievsky pulled UR ahead 5-0. The Saints made it 5-2 at halftime and scored two more right after to make it 5-4.

However, Dube kept it cool and held the ‘Jackets together by making a series of saves. Dakin then scored another goal, and Woodward gave even more cushion with a free position goal. Tievsky sealed the deal with a free position goal with 1:46 remaining.

Dube finished with 13 saves. Guisto had four ground balls, Aronoff had three and Woodward caused four turnovers.

The Yellowjackets play SUNY Oneonta at home on Saturday, and next week they will be hosting Skidmore and Union – two of the teams tied with them for first place in the Liberty League.

Philbrick can be reached at

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