Lacrosse suffers early in season
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
After going into halftime down 12-2, the Owls stormed back in the second half and outscored the New York Institute of Technology, 6-5, despite a deflating loss.
“We went into this game thinking we could win. We thought we really matched up pretty well,” he said. “They just came out on fire.”
Senior midfielder Brooke Basso got the ball rolling for the Bears, scoring just 10 seconds into the game and her teammates took it from there.
NYIT scored eight unanswered goals before freshman attacker Bayleigh Takacs got the Owls on the board halfway through the first half.
Coming out of the locker room senior co-captain Samantha Cozzolino fired back-to-back goals, both off assists from junior attacker Morgan Chase, before junior co-captain Brianna Grade, who specializes on defense, scored the first goal of her career.
“We handled the ball better in the second half,” Grande said. “We gained more confidence…[our] attack was working the ball around, the defense was stepping in front and it was more of a collective unit.”
The Bears were held with just one goal through more than 15 minutes of play in the second half before the NYIT put one through the net, unassisted, to make it a 14-6 contest.
“We won the second half but NYIT did not pull any punches; they did not take anyone out [in the second half],” head coach Kevin Siedlecki said. “We just have to believe that this is the level we can play at because we really can — we did it for 30 minutes today but we need to find our stride and do it for 60.”
The game ended 17-8, with the Bears netting the final goal of the game in the last 18 seconds. Cozzolino led the Owls with four goals, giving her eight on the season and over 100 now in her career, and Chase and freshman Karlie Rowe also contributed to the scoring.
“We have worked more as a team this year and we are not really concerned about wins and losses,” Grande said. “We have a new coaching staff and [Siedlecki] is here to build a new program. Of course, we want to win but we are more into making sure everyone works well together and we are trusting each other more than in past years.”
In a 15-5 loss to LIU Post a week ago, Rowe found the net four times in her second ever collegiate game. She led her team to a 5-5 second half score despite the Owls being on the receiving end of a 10-goal barrage at the start.
“We are making progress. We had 17 turnovers so that is down from the previous game so we are seeing progress against really good teams; we just played two Top 25 teams,” Siedlecki said. “We have a really difficult schedule but we are focused on making progress every day.”
The Owls will go up against Merrimack in its next match up Saturday afternoon, seeking to give Siedlecki his first win since leaving his post on the women’s lacrosse team at Daniel Hand High School.
“[Merrimack] is going D-I next year so it is our last year playing them and they have some really good recruits because they are going up next year but we are just going to prepare this week to defend them,” Grande said.
After going up against the Warriors, the team has New Haven March 12 and Saint Anselm the following Saturday.
“Right now we are starting seven freshmen or sophomores,” Siedlecki said. “They are going to get more experience and they are going to be more capable; it is happening a little bit at a time and we just have to be more consistent and play for 60 minutes.”