The Drexel University women’s lacrosse team’s five-game winning streak was halted March 9 by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The 14-8 loss was their first of the season, but the Dragons bounced back 12-7 in their next game March 13 against Colgate University.
The latest win elevated Drexel’s record to 6-1, the best in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dragons are just above James Madison University in the standings with two games in hand.
Drexel actually got off to a good start in Baltimore, outscoring the Retrievers 4-3 in the first half. The Dragons gave up the first goal of the game to Abby Wilson, but they answered with three straight goals, two from Alyse Maiden and one from Amanda Norcini. Drexel maintained the lead until there was under a minute left in the first half. Alyssa Semones scored back-to-back goals 16 seconds apart to bring the game to a 3-3 tie. With just six seconds remaining in the half, Norcini scored a goal to give Drexel the lead.
The goal to end the half should have been a sign of things to come, but it wasn’t so. UMBC came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, scoring eight straight goals to amass an 11-4 lead. After the eighth goal, head coach Anna Marie Vesco decided to pull sophomore goalie Teresha Bradley and put in junior Amanda Santandrea. The Dragons would go on to score four more goals, including third goals by Maiden and Norcini to complete hat tricks for both of them, but it wasn’t enough to come back from the large deficit.
Vesco has noticed a trend with her team: coming out of the locker room flat after the first half.
“We’ve started slow in the past two games in the beginning of the second half,” Vesco said. “Our girls seem to relax and take their foot off of the accelerator. I’m not exactly sure why, but we definitely need to remedy this, especially for the next two opponents.”
Even after being pulled in the second half of the game against UMBC, Bradley got the start against Colgate.
“No goalie was going to save most of the shots that she faced in UMBC,” Vesco said.
Vesco gave the impression that she didn’t think all of the goals were Bradley’s fault; they were just strong shots by their opponents.
Drexel began the game against Colgate by jumping out to an 8-0 lead. The onslaught lasted about 12 minutes of game time, and in that span senior Kelli Joran scored three goals and junior Kelly Palace scored two goals. Colgate scored two goals at the end of the half.
In the second half, Joran opened the scoring two minutes in to give the Dragons a 9-2 lead. Then came a flashback to UMBC, with Colgate scoring six unanswered goals. The Dragons were able to weather the storm and score three more goals at the end of the game to ice it.
Joran’s four goals in the game lifted her to a team-high 19 on the season. Maiden is currently second in team goals and points with 13 and 23, respectively.
Drexel will face a tough task March 17 against the University of Louisville. The Cardinals have outscored their opponents in the past two games 42-3. If the Dragons can’t figure out their flat second half, they won’t fare well against Louisville’s potent offense.