The Yellowjackets faced off against two Liberty League foes — Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University — within a span of 24 hours this past week. Many would deem this kind of rigorous scheduling an exhaustive feat, unfair to impose on any athlete, but for the home team this was just another week at Fauver Stadium: a chance to notch another tally or two in the win column.
The ‘Jackets put on a show of firepower early in the game against Clarkson on Friday, April 1. After falling behind 2-0 in the first minute and a half, the yellow and blue attacked the Golden Knight defense, piling up seven unanswered points in the first half. Over half of these goals (four of the seven) came on the part of Niki Holmes. In place of two of UR’s lead scorers last season (both of whom graduated), Holmes has taken charge of the young squad with a team-leading 16 goals and five assists.
The Golden Knights would not go unheard, however. Clarkson’s Alyssa Cristaldi, who led the Golden Knights with three points on the day, found the back of the Rochester net twice midway through the second half to cap a 3-0 run that clipped the Yellowjackets’ lead to two.
And then the home team shut the door.
The UR offense kept play on Clarkson’s side of the field for the latter part of the second half, opening up scoring opportunities for both Freshman Sarah Skinner and junior Kayleigh Hogan. With a 9-6 lead and the Golden Knights’ momentum extinguished, the rest of the game played out rather quietly until the final 90 seconds, when sophomore Liza Maizel put the finishing touches on the meeting with one last goal to push the final score to 10-6.
Less than a day later, the Yellowjackets returned to Fauver to take on the St. Lawrence Saints.
With the same determination and merciless play that handed them the win over Clarkson, UR wasted no time in building leads of 2-1 and 5-3 — both in the first 15 minutes of play. And despite being down at halftime, the women lagged behind by just two goals: a slim margin and with plenty of time to recover.
Unfortunately, it was at this point that the home team’s ability to maintain their normally high level of play began to wane, as the physical and mental stress of back-to-back games seemed to take over. The well-rested Saints, hoping to put some distance between themselves and the ‘Jackets, ran over UR to score sevenpoints in the second half. Though the desire was clearly there, a weary-looking Rochester attack couldn’t answer, mustering just one goal in the final fifteen minutes in response.
With the 15-7 loss, the yellow and blue fall to 2-5 this season — 1-1 in the Liberty League — while St. Lawrence improves to 3-6 and gains a share of third place with UR and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The ‘Jackets travel to Geneva, N.Y. to take on William Smith College this Saturday, April 9, in the first of a six-game away series that includes meetings with four Liberty League rivals. The Herons, currently tied for the Liberty League lead with Union College, are undefeated in league play this season and sport an overall record of 4-3.
Bernstein is a member of
the class of 2014.