The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Saturday June 15th

TCNJ women’s lacrosse takes two losses at the hands of top ten teams

<p><em>Senior midfielder Kira Sides with the ball (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).</em></p>

Senior midfielder Kira Sides with the ball (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).

By Joey Bachich
Staff Writer

The Lions headed into this difficult two game stretch sitting at 5-1 after a loss to the top team in the nation, Middlebury College. In back-to-back games, the Lions played against No. 6 Gettysburg College and No. 7 Washington and Lee University. These were two important games to stack up, with Gettysburg being the nation’s runner up last season and Washington and Lee entering the game at 8-3 with a ton of experience. 

The first game against Gettysburg was contested at the start. Freshman mechanical engineering major CJ Kole got the Lions on the board in the first quarter to tie the game at one a piece. The Bullets dominated the rest of the quarter, scoring four unanswered goals in two minutes. The Lions tried to battle back with two goals from senior english and secondary education major Ally Tobler, who willed the team back in the game. The quarter ended with two more goals from the Bullets, putting them up 7-3 over the Lions. 

The second quarter followed suit with a stretch of early quick goals. Four goals in four minutes for Gettysburg really hurt the Lions’ chances of a comeback. The defense tightened up a bit, allowing one goal in ten minutes to end the quarter. Halftime saw the Lions down 12-4. 

The rest of the game was not great from the Lions all around, losing the second half battle 7-2 with the defense looking a little better than they had earlier in the game. The College fell to 5-2 and had two bad losses to higher end opponents. The Lions were outshot 30-12 and only had successful clears half the time. That has been a recurring issue for the team; when getting a clean save or turnover, they cannot get the ball from defense to offense efficiently. Gettysburg went nine for 10 from their clears, meaning the Lions did not create enough turnovers in the midfield. 

Game two of the week saw the Lions play Washington and Lee University, who is ranked No. 7 in the country. The game started off as bad as it could, with the Generals going on a five to nothing run to start the game. Turnovers, free position shots and bad clears all came up rearing their ugly head early for the Lions. The College did not score until there were four minutes left in the first quarter, with Tobler being the light again on the offensive end, scoring two in those four minutes. 

The second quarter started just as bad as the first with an onslaught of goals from the Generals, going up 10-2. The Lions did not score until there was a minute left in the quarter, with senior nursing major Morgan Vaccaro scoring the goal while on the powerplay. The Lions had a game high eight turnovers in the second quarter alone, which does not lend itself to winning lacrosse. 

The second half was more positive for the Lions, winning the third quarter with two goals coming from senior education major Kira Sides and Tobler scoring the third. The defense tightened up and only let up two goals, with five saves from senior education major Juila Charest, who helped the Lions win the quarter, but were still down 12-6.

The Lions lost the fourth quarter 4-3 due to three goals scored in two minutes from Washington and Lee to put the nail in the coffin. The Lions again had bad clearing stats, going 19-27 with 23 turnovers for the game. The game was sloppy from both teams, but Washington and Lee were amazing on the clear, going 19-20 along with winning the ground ball battle 27-15. 

The last three games have been brutal for the Lions, losing a combined 49-21 to ranked opponents. The game plan when playing these high end teams needs to change, as the Lions do not seem to adapt quick enough on either side of the ball when things are not going well. This team is on the younger side and has a ton of talent, but stretches of five goals in three minutes are not going to be a recipe for success when playing these high-end teams. This team needs to change their clearing strategy along with not giving up so many free possession shots. The Lions have given up 21 free possession shots in two games while only getting 10. 

The Lions now have an easier schedule coming up playing no ranked opponents until April 13 against No. 4 Salisbury. The Lions should test out some new sets and strategy against the next three unranked opponents because what they are doing now is not working against these ranked teams. 

Next Games

April 2 - Cabrini University (6-2) at Cabrini University (Lions win 19-8)

April 6- Ramapo College (3-5) at Home (NJAC)

April 9 - Stockton University (11-0) at Home (NJAC)




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