Lax snaps losing streak
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
Despite only reaching four wins in 2017, the women’s lacrosse team was able to ride out in winning fashion April 29, by defeating Southern New Hampshire, 17-16.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to the season – a better ending to the seniors’ careers,” head coach Maureen Spellman said. “This program has only beaten Southern New Hampshire once before and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
This was the Owls’ first win since a 10-9 victory over Merrimack College March 18. Saturday’s win snapped an 11-game losing streak, and for senior Lindsey Luposello, a defender, it brought her first career goal.
“It was amazing. I honestly never expected to end the season that way,” she said. “We always joke that I’m going to run down and score and I actually did it this time so it was really awesome.”
Luposello was recruited out of Hendrick Hudson High School in New York and was a two-year team captain. She came in freshman year and started every game, recording 41 ground balls, 12 draw controls and 17 turnovers. Sophomore year she had 28 ground balls, four draw controls and and eight caused turnovers.
On Luposello’s goal and the situation that was created, Spellman said: “She came up with a turnover and had the momentum (to score). It wasn’t a set-up.”
Saturday was also the last game for Alyssa Gemmell, Sarah Ciccia, Olivia Murray and Kennedy Sherman. Last year, when they were juniors, they actually lost their final game to Southern New Hampshire by the same final score: 17-16. That game was played in Manchester, N.H.
This time, in Southern’s 17-16 win, the back-and-forth affair was highlighted off Owl goals from Taylor Portelinha, Samantha Cozzolino, Nicole Healey, Kennedy Sherman, Amanda Murray, Morgan Hanks, Luposello and Carolynn Keal. Like in Luposello’s case, it was also the first career goal for freshman Amanda Murray, who added one more with 17:25 to go in the second period.
“We lose a lot of leadership,” Spellman said, speaking about next season. “[We lose] a lot of leadership on defense and a little on attack, but we have some good freshman coming in that will replace them, although nothing will ever replace the culture that [the 2017 team] has built.”
Spellman started at Southern five years ago, beginning as an assistant under Kelley Frassinelli, who maintains her role as head coach of SCSU’s women’s field hockey team. She took over as head coach in 2014 and has been part of five successful seasons for the Owls.
She is assisted by Betsy Vendel, who’s been with her since last season, and Kevin Siedlecki, who also coaches women’s lacrosse and teaches English at Daniel Hand High School, in Madison, Conn.
For seniors like Luposello, this may not actually be their last hoorah. After graduating this May, she hopes to get involved with some coaching opportunities.
“I think I’m done playing but I’m definitely going to continue coaching,” she said. “I majored in exercise science so I’m hoping to pursue physical therapy.”
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana