The Drexel University women’s lacrosse team fell in its last game of the season to the Hofstra University Pride. Despite an early lead, the Dragons fell, 9-8, in a bittersweet finale against the No. 16-ranked Pride.
The Dragons did many things well in the game but could not hold on in the final minutes of the potential upset.
“We put away our shots early and got the draw control, which was a key of the game,” head coach Hannah Rudloff said. “We only had seven turnovers for the whole game, which was extremely low.”
Hofstra got on the board first, less than three minutes into game time. Less than a minute later, the Dragons responded with a goal from Devin Nihill, with an assist from Nadia Pelham-Lacey. The Dragons followed by scoring three more unanswered goals. Pelham-Lacey, Lacey Aghazarian and Emily Duffey each contributed a goal to give Drexel a surprising 4-1 lead early in the first half.
Before halftime, Hofstra notched three goals but Alissa Watts scored her first goal of the game for Drexel to keep the Dragons in the lead. Drexel entered the halftime break up, 5-4.
After the break, the Pride quickly tied the game at five goals apiece before Drexel responded with a three-goal run. Aghazarian scored her second goal of the game and Pelham-Lacey was responsible for two more, recording her second straight hat trick.
The Dragons’ defense held solid, doing an excellent job maintaining possession throughout the first two-thirds of the second half.
But they couldn’t keep the holes plugged long enough to fight off the high-powered Pride.
With three minutes remaining in the game, the score was 8-5 in favor of Drexel before a crucial turnover gave the Pride an opportunity that they capitalized on. Hofstra rallied and netted four goals in the final 180 seconds to overcome the deficit and win the contest 9-8.
“They had a really great run at the end and just happened to win the game,” Rudloff said of the late-game collapse. “They really turned it on at the end, and we could have used the stop defensively.
“Hofstra is a strong attacking team, and we were prepared for that, but we couldn’t get a stop when we needed.”
The Dragons concluded their season with a 4-12 record overall and a 1-5 record in Colonial Athletic Association matchups.
As the Dragons towards a more fruitful 2016 season, Rudloff will be looking for improvement on the positives they can take away from those four wins.
“The goal is constant improvement and building off the things we did well this year,” Rudloff said. “We are losing a couple people from our defensive unit, but the foundation is there.
“Offensively, we ended the season where we wanted to be, and I’m really excited for the group to come back and continue.”