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W. lacrosse stumbles to start CAA play | The Triangle
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W. lacrosse stumbles to start CAA play

Junior defender Caroline Dodds cradles the ball as a James Madison University defender approaches during a game on April 5.  (Ajon Brodie - The Triangle)
Junior defender Caroline Dodds cradles the ball as a James Madison University defender approaches during a game on April 5. (Ajon Brodie – The Triangle)
The Drexel University women’s lacrosse team was defeated by The College of William & Mary and James Madison University in its first two Colonial Athletic Association matchups of the season April 3 and 5, respectively.

The Dragons fell to the Tribe, 10-5, in the first of two home losses at Vidas Field.

Drexel scored the first marker of the game, just over five minutes in courtesy of Emily Duffey. After an answer from the Tribe, Drexel regained the lead on a second Duffey goal, this one assisted by Emily Kellett, to give the Dragons a 2-1 lead.

For the rest of the first half, William & Mary’s defense tightened up and the Tribe took to the offensive.

William & Mary held the Dragons to just one goal before the break in action, and scored four of their own. Joelle Hartke scored for the Dragons with a wrap-around shot with 18 seconds remaining in the first half, but Drexel trailed 5-3 at halftime.

The beginning of the second half saw a defensive struggle that prevented scoring from either side for almost 10 minutes. The Tribe finally scored to break the scoreless streak, but Drexel answered quickly with yet another goal from Duffey, giving her three goals on the night.

But Duffey’s efforts would go for naught.

As the second half continued, William & Mary ran away with the game, scoring three in a row to make the score 9-4. The Dragons continued to persevere and scored one more goal, a second marker from Hartke. The Tribe then added another goal to finish off the game and seal the 10-5 victory.

Two days later, the Dragons faced off against the James Madison University Dukes with revenge on the brain. But the Dragons fell to the Dukes, 17-9, in a high-flying game.

The Dukes scored seven unanswered goals in the first 20 minutes of the first half, knocking Drexel on its heels. The Dragons responded quickly, scoring four in a row to narrow the Dukes’ lead. The four goals were scored by four different players: Duffey, Lacey Aghazarian, Nadia Pelham-Lacey and Milan White.

But the Dukes were relentless. James Madison scored four more times before the halftime whistle signified reprieve; while the Dragons registered two goals from Ashley Bupp and Pelham-Lacey, the score was 11-6 favoring the Dukes at the break.

The Dukes continued their strong attack in the second half, scoring twice right after the intermission. In the rest of the second half, the Dragons scored three goals while the Dukes continued to run away with the game, scoring four more goals to finish off the contest.

Head coach Hannah Rudloff said there were positives to take away from the two losses, including the nine goals scored against James Madison. But she was far from pleased with the results.

“We did some nice things, but overall we’re not thrilled with the outcomes this weekend,” Rudloff explained. “We are coming out of these games knowing we should do some things better.

“The biggest improvement we need to make is maintaining and gaining possession. We need to focus on possessions and putting our opportunities away when we have them.

“We have to finish a good play and put the ball in the back of the net when we have possession.”

Drexel will return to action April 10 to take on the Towson University Tigers, and Rudloff has a feeling the game could be one that turns the Dragons’ fortunes around.

“Towson is a team that historically we have matched up against pretty well,” Rudloff said. “They have a great goal keeper and do a great job in the midfield with draw controls. We are going to make sure that we can get opportunities.”