The toughest losses are always the nailbiters. The Lions’ lacrosse team faced one of those most difficult of defeats last week, falling 11-10 to fifth ranked Gettysburg College in a matchup of powerhouse teams.
The College (5-2, ranked seventh nationally) gave the undefeated Bullets their biggest challenge of the season thus far, outplaying their opposition in the game’s second half before ultimately falling just short at the end.
“Gettysburg capitalized on our mistakes, and our shot selection was not as strong as it could have been,” said sophomore attack Erin Waller, who had two goals and an assist in the effort.
The game started poorly for the Lions, as Gettysburg scored within 15 seconds of the game’s start, and again less than two minutes later. Facing an uphill climb, the Lions managed to halt the onslaught and slow the game down, matching the Bullets for the rest of the half. They outscored Gettysburg 6-5 in the game’s second half, even taking the lead briefly at 9-8 with just over eight minutes to play, but three quick goals by Gettysburg in the following five minutes proved to be just too much for the Lions to overcome.
“I think the hardest lesson we learned was how important it is to play both halves of the game equally well,” said junior attack Jen Garavente. “Sometimes, you just can’t make up for all of the mistakes that were made at the beginning of the game even if you play a really great second half.”
The College was led by senior attack Alex Spark, who had four goals, and junior attacker Jen Garavente, who had two goals and two assists. Junior goalkeeper Kelsey Zinck had a career-high 12 saves in an impressive performance despite the end result.
“We learned a lot from that game,” Waller said. “Which is just going to make us a stronger team and if we are to play them again we will be ready and more prepared.”
The College ended the week on a more positive note, triumphing over Eastern University 19-2, continuing their domination of unranked teams.
The Lions got off to an impressive start in the victory, scoring on 10 of their first 11 shots and building up a 14-1 lead at the end of the first half. The team finished with an incredibly efficient 19 goals on just 23 shots, and turned the ball over only two times over the course of the game. The defense was perhaps just as impressive, allowing only six shots in total, only four of which were on goal.
“When the ball was in our defensive end, we were successful in holding them out,” Waller said. “Our unit had strong chemistry as a whole, which led to team success.”
The Lions were led in the victory by senior attack Jillian Nealon, who had three goals and four assists, sophomore midfielder Marissa Pennypacker, who had four goals and an assist, along with Spark, who also finished with four goals and an assist, and Waller, who scored the game’s opening point and also tallied four assists.
The Lions now look forward to two games this coming week, away at Ursinus College on Tuesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. and at home against Manhattanville College on Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m. The College will look to build off their impressive victory, and hopefully not be dragged down by a difficult defeat.