Lacrosse wins season opener
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
m won their season opener against American International College, 12-7, on Wednesday, March 31 at Ronald J. Abdow Field. The first four games of their season had been postponed due to COVID-19 reasons.
The team is now 1-0 on the season and 1-0 in Northeast 10 conference play. AIC dropped to 1-4 on the season with the loss and 1-3 in NE10 matchups.
“I really had no idea what to expect. AIC has not been stalled at all. They haven’t had it stop practicing; they haven’t cancelled any games. We were their fifth game,” said Head Coach Kevin Siedlecki. “Most of our team was in quarantine for 10 days, we didn’t practice for 10 days so we started off very very sloppy. We had four or five turnovers in the first five or six minutes. It was our first game, and we lost a week and a half of practice leading up to it. But I was really really proud of the way they played, we got away with a lot of mistakes because we played really hard. They played with so much intensity and they were so competitive.”
AIC was the first to score in the game, but the Owls responded quickly, as they scored four straight goals in a three-minute span to take a 4-1 lead. With 14:16 remaining in the first half, AIC answered back with a goal of their own, making the game 4-2.
The Owls were then able to score twice more, making the game 6-2 an. AIC was able to find the back of the net two more times in the first half and the score headed into halftime was 6-4.
The Owls dominated the scoring in the second half, scoring six of the first seven goals scored and giving them their largest lead of the game 12-5. AIC scored the last two goals of the game.
“AIC couldn’t really capitalize on our mistakes because we kept going after it. We kept trying to cover for our mistakes and we were kind of able to get away with some,” said Siedlecki. “Now, that’s not going to happen against Adelphi, that’s not going to happen against LeMoyne, we have to clean some stuff up going forward but I was really proud of how hard everybody played.”
A lot of first year players on the team made their collegiate debuts, as the starting lineup consisted of four freshmen, with more coming off the bench. The team’s young core of 12 first-year students are now beginning to get some collegiate level experience.
“Luckily, our upperclassmen took really good care of the freshman and sophomores, who obviously haven’t played many college games, cause all of us were a little nervous,” said midfielder Jettke Gray, a sophomore. “Luckily, our team was very supportive of us. When we did make mistakes, they kept giving us pep talks and making sure we getting comfortable.”
Siedlecki said he gave the green light to the offense prior to the game to get a high number of shots off and to be aggressive when the opportunities presented themselves. The Owls scored 12 goals on 31 shots, giving them a shooting percentage of 39 percent.
Siedlecki said he’d like it to be closer to the 50 percent mark and that it is something to work on for upcoming games. Three players notched a hat trick in the game: Gray and attackers Karlie Rowe and Savannah Feinberg. This was Rowe’s seventh game as an Owl with at least three goals scored.
Feinberg, a freshman, scored the first goal for the Owls, her first collegiate goal. Feinberg is the first Southern freshman to record a hat trick since Rowe did so herself when she had four against Assumption University on April 24, 2019. Gray, a sophomore and transfer from Ithaca College, was the second Owl to score. This goal, would be the first one in her career as an Owl.
The three other goal scorers in the game were midfielders Mia Pulisciano and Steph Seymour and attacker Molly Kelly, each scoring one a piece.
“We had two freshmen starting on defense and two on attack. Clearly, all four of them stepped up as much as they needed to,” said Rowe. I think they all stepped up in different ways, they were all ready to get into the game. A few came off the bench and got into the game, so they came ready to play and it was clear through our win.”
Goaltender Laura Morton, a senior, recorded 10 saves on the day and allowed seven goals for a save percentage of .588. It was Morton’s 22nd game with at least 10 saves and her career total is now 406.
She’s the second player in program history to reach 400 career saves. Siedlecki said, “At our best, we moved the ball well. We moved the ball quickly. We are very aggressive on defense, can create turnovers, can create chaos for the offense and really get them out of what they want to do.”