Tired legs and small roster results in loss for lacrosse
Hunter O. Lyle—Sports Editor
Out-manned and outgunned, the women’s lacrosse team dropped a tightly-fought, back and-forth game against the Penmen of Southern New Hampshire University, losing 20-13.
Before this NE10 battle began, in the third-to-last game of the season and with the team coming off a tough loss to the ranked top team in both Division II as well as the NE10, freshman attacker Karlie Rowe said the team knew they needed to do everything they could to seal a win.
“We’ve had a rough season so we [knew] we had to come out strong,” said Rowe. “It’s a nice day out, it’s a winnable team. They’ve had really iffy games, and so we were like, ‘Let’s compete with them, let’s play our best, and the outcome will be the outcome.’”
Out of the gates, the game quickly became a hard-fought battle of offenses, with the Penmen quickly moving up the field and scoring within the first three minutes of regulation.
The Owls did not hold off to answer, scoring almost two minutes later, which sparked a run of five unanswered goals.
“[The key to the successful start] was the offense. I mean, [Southern New Hampshire] didn’t have an answer for our offense because we haven’t moved like that in 13 games,” said head coach Kevin Siedlecki. “That stems from the messaging in practice. We’ve done a lot more of that get moving, make sure that we understand our sets, make sure we understand our concepts and our sets, so that we’re confident scoring.”
Late in the first, both teams eventually got hot and made successful scoring streaks, with Southern New Hampshire going on a 6-3 run, ending the first half with the Owls on top 9-8.
The Owls were able to edge in front at the end of the first half of play thanks to efforts from senior attacker Samantha Cozzolino, who captured five goals and one assist in the first half.
“I really don’t know [how I was so successful early on],” said Cozzolino. “I know my job, and I know I need to get the ball in the net, it’s just a matter of how I’m going to get there. In the first half, we were all just I think a lot more pumped up and just going for it.”
After halftime, it seemed like both teams picked up where they left off. A flick off the stick 30 seconds in from freshman midfielder Kelly Jagodzinski gave the Owls a two-point lead, but the fresh legs of the Penmen’s large roster gave them a breath of fresh air.
Five minutes into the final half, Southern New Hampshire tied the game at eleven. Where the game had been about offense in the first, defense became crucial in the second.
Southern New Hampshire’s tough defense, especially their transition defense, kept Southern’s offense at bay, and the Penmen’s quick double-cutting offense tired out an already sluggish Owls defense.
The game eventually slipped from the Owls hands, as Southern New Hampshire ran the score up 17-12 with a little over eight minutes left on the clock.
After they slowed down the pace of the game, Southern New Hampshire eventually emerged victorious, 20-13.
“We just got gassed in the second half. They made it a high scoring game. It’s going to be really hard for us to win a high scoring game,” said Siedlecki. “You get up over 15, 16 goals apiece, we’re not going to win that game because we don’t have the legs, [especially] against a team like Southern New Hampshire who has 33 girls sitting there who can go in.”
The Owls lead the game in saves and draw controls, while also committing two less turnovers than the Penmen, who ended the game with a total of 15.
Cozzolino said while the team stayed optimistic throughout the game, the team was not able to keep up with the Penmen.
“We really thought we could win, and I still think we could have definitely won that game,” said Cozzolino. “It’s kind of just, whenever we get down a few goals, we just lose ourselves and that’s on us, but we really did stay positive the whole time. That’s really just it, I’m still sad about the game.”
There are two games left in the Owl’s season, facing Assumption and Stonehill.
Photo Credit: August Pelliccio