The Drexel women’s lacrosse team opened its season in good form Feb. 16, taking down George Washington University by a score of 12-7.
Senior attacker Kelly Palace tallied five goals for the Dragons, and senior midfielder Amanda Norcini added another four. The two contributed 75 percent of Drexel’s offense in the win.
“The senior leadership with Kelly Palace and Amanda Norcini combined for nine out of our 12 goals,” head coach Hannah Rudloff said. “It was great to see them step up and really take control.”
The Dragons came out of the gate quickly, as Norcini opened the game’s scoring just three minutes into the action. Her head coach was pleased with the team’s fast start.
“We had a good start,” Rudloff said. “We came out and put a goal on the board first, which was nice.”
Following the goal, the Dragons briefly appeared to lose control of the game, as the Colonials tallied two goals in the next three minutes, courtesy of Allie Rash and Jamie Bumgardner.
But the 2-1 lead would be the only advantage the Colonials would get in this game, as the Dragons went on a 5-0 tear.
Palace evened up the score with her first goal of the season at the 22:51 mark of the first half. She added two more goals during the Dragons’ 5-0 run, with her final two coming in the second half.
The Dragons, who ended the first half with a 6-3 lead, piled on three more goals to open the second half. Norcini tallied her second marker of the game 1:55 into the period, and Palace put home her fourth directly after.
Norcini secured a hat trick at the 25:49 mark, which proved to be the eventual game winner. Norcini capped off the scoring for the Dragons with 54 seconds remaining. Also scoring in the game for the Dragons were Eva Winiarski, Emily Duffey and Joelle Hartke.
With a young team and a first-year head coach, opening the season with a win was huge for Drexel. Rudloff was more than pleased with her team’s performance and said she believes it was a great jumping-off point for the season to come.
“I think people got the experience that they needed,” Rudloff said. “We got a good performance in but also plenty of material for things to work on too.”
Coming off the strong effort, the Dragons feel they have all the tools and talent to make a run in the Colonial Athletic Association and beyond. The fact that the team was picked to finish fifth in the conference in the preseason has only fueled its efforts.
“I absolutely believe we can finish higher,” Palace said. “I think a lot of that stems from having a new coach and such a young team, but I think that might work to our advantage. People might take us lightly and think we won’t be as great as we are about to be.”
The Dragons will be back in action Sunday, Feb. 23, when they will take on Saint Joseph’s University at Vidas Field at 1 p.m.