Women’s lacrosse crushed by No. 1 Le Moyne College
Hunter O. Lyle – Sports Editor
After coming off a blowout loss to Assumption College on March 4, the women’s lacrosse team fell against the second NE10 opponent of the season, Le Moyne College, 18-4, in a battle that was over not much longer than it started.
Entering this game, the Owls knew this game would take energy, toughness and willpower to claim the unlikely win, as the Dolphins rank No. 1 nationally in DII lacrosse.
“I think the whole entire team had the mentality of let’s just play how we play,” said attacker Hailey Gordon, a junior and starter for the Owls. “The score is whatever it’s going to be but if we play our best and work as a team then that’s going to show what we can do.”
The game started with early offense for the Dolphins, who had scored a combined 33 goals in their first two games of the season. The first of the team’s 18 goals came less than a minute into the game. Le Moyne rapidly passed the ball behind the net, looking for cutters and eventually finding one to send in a shot, a trend that would frequently reoccur in the first half.
Their next three goals all came within 61 seconds — two scores off a free position shot with 28:14 and 27:40 remaining on the clock, and a drive from one of their speedy attackers at 27:13.
Pushing up field with long, accurate passes, Le Moyne was able to quickly rip through Southern’s defense like a warm knife through butter, while the team’s defense snubbed Southern’s offense by creating turnovers and keeping them on the perimeter without any chance to drive.
“We played really good defense and they found that shot with 11 seconds left on the shot clock, with three seconds left on the shot clock. They didn’t force anything, they waited for that really good opportunity,” said head coach Kevin Seidlecki. “That’s the biggest thing. They were patient and skilled.”
At the end of the first half, the Dolphins had shut out the Owls and ran up the score to 13-0.
Between their seemingly perfect passing and driving, the Dolphins found their way to the net on almost every possession and racked up 21 shots on goal through the first 30 minutes, while Southern had just six in total in the first half.
The start of the second half did not bolster much hope early on, with Le Moyne scoring within the first five minutes as a shot rolled in under the feet of goalkeeper Laura Morton, a junior. However, Southern did eventually get on the board with a free position shot by Gordon just two minutes later. The Owls once again scored off a drive and dish from attacker Karlie Rowe, a sophomore, to attacker Morgan Chase, a senior, moments later, making the score 14-2.
Two Le Moyne goals later, Southern once again found the back of the net from a shot by attacker Bayleigh Takacs, a sophomore, assisted by midfielder Steph Seymour a senior.
With the final horn growing closer, a running clock in play, Le Moyne started to waste clock, patiently passing before continuously driving and looking for cutters.
Their final two goals of the game came in that fashion with in the last five minutes, before freshman attacker Julia Shapiro scored her first goal of the season by way of a free position opportunity and set the final a score at 18-4.
Despite the 14-point deficit, Seidlecki continued to stay optimistic about the teams effort throughout the day.
“We really met a lot of the goals we set for ourselves in a game like this. [Beating the No. 1 team in the country] is not where we’re at right now, we’re not a top five team in the country,” said Seidlecki on facing such tough competetion. “We are trying to be the best team we can be, the best us we can be, and I think we came pretty close.”
Gordon, who continued her streak of scoring a goal in the past nine games she has played, said in preparation for the next game, against Nyack College on March 15 which will be played in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the team needs to focus on their mental toughness, especially not getting deflated when facing tough oponents.
Le Moyne is one of seven teams within the NE10 that are ranked in the top 25 for DII lacrosse, which includes teams like Adelphi Univsersity (No. 4), the University of New Haven (No.13), and Assumption College (No.14) all withing the top 15. In late March to early April, the Owls will face three of these teams throughout a four games.
Facing these great opponents is something Siedlecki said forces the team to think about the little things as they go forward.
“You have to take away the successes. There is so much disparity in our sport that we go into this game knowing that winning is not a reachable, good goal for us. So we have the successes that we’re looking for, and we met those,” said Seidlecki. “It just about effort. I mean, our girls are busting their butts out there. They’re working really hard.”
Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo