The women’s lacrosse team took the field for the first game of the season against Lycoming College on Lycoming’s home turf on Sunday, March 11, and despite three close losses, this year’s team has more experience and seems to have the willpower to turn themselves around.

The team is back after a not-so-glorious past season. But that was with an unweathered team that, this year, seems on top of group game, despite a rough opening season match where, after a strong first half, they fell behind 11-8.

The Yellowjackets struck quick and hard in the opening seven minutes, with senior Alanna Tievsky delivering three goals to Lycoming’s one goal. Lycoming, not to be outdone, reciprocated the favor, tying up the game midway through the first half of the game at 5-5. As nailbiting commenced, senior Christina Montano pushed UR ahead again to six points, but Lycoming counteracted them.

In the second half, things began going downhill for the ‘Jackets, as Lycoming racked up an additional three points within the first six minutes of the second half. The women could not recover, only scoring twice more as Lycoming did the same, ending it 11-8.

“It was the first time full field [this year],” sophomore attacker Mary Kate Hannan said. “We’d been inside and that was our first time outside [full field]? We had a really good first half, [but] in the second half, we kind of let our guard down. [Lycoming] scored a couple key goals.”

Tievsky ended up scoring four goals, senior Heidi Davies and Montano had a goal and an assist each and senior Laura Giusto and Hannan scored single goals.

The team took the next two weeks to regroup and, on March 24, retook to the field, but they were again denied victory in a 15-10 loss against SUNY Oneonta.

The SUNY foe proved formidable, with a 5-3 score at halftime thanks to goals by freshmen Amanda Case and Danielle Mondro, with an assist from Case. Oneonta went on a second-half rampage, however, and, in the first five minutes, blasted four more goals into the net. The ‘Jackets answered with a goal by Laura Giusto, but the Red Dragons echoed it with another goal, bringing the game to 10-4.

At the end of the game, Montano led UR with three goals and one assist, followed by Case with two goals and one assist, and Giusta, Mondro and Hannan also broke the Oneonta goalie’s defense once each, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Oneonta.

“It was a discouraging game for our team. We realized a lot of things we needed to work on and improve on as a team,” Hannan said.

As if to bring image to Hannan’s words, the ‘Jackets fought valiantly this past Tuesday against the Golden Eagles of SUNY Brockport.

After a bad start during which Brockport scored 3-1, UR’s ladies brought the pain, as sophomores Lindsay Dakin and Abby Woodward scored five goals in a row to make the game stand at 6-3. Davies followed a Brockport score to bring it to 7-4, but the Eagles swooped in for two.

As the second half began with UR ahead 7-6, Brockport got past goalie Leslie Dube for three goals, but Woodward responded by bringing in another two goals within a mere 18 seconds of each other, and sophomore Melissa Schoenberger scored as well. Although the ‘Jackets made an additional three goals, Brockport remained neck and neck until the final 39 seconds, when the Eagles broke the dead heat to score twice and secure the game, ending it 15-13 to Brockport.

None of the three season-opening games were conference games, however. The ladies will open the Liberty League at home this Friday versus St. Lawrence at 4 p.m. and Saturday against Clarkson at 2 p.m., also in Fauver Stadium.

“We’ll take what we did wrong going into this weekend,” Hannan said, adding with deep conviction, “We’re looking to be at the top of our [league] this season as far as the Liberty [League] goes. [We have] very high expectations.”

Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.

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