The Drexel University women’s lacrosse team staged an impressive comeback against the Villanova University Wildcats on March 5 at Villanova, Pennsylvania. They defeated the Wildcats by a close count of 9-8. The win brings the Dragons to a 5-1 record on the season.
Emily Duffey led the Dragons’ attack with four goals and one assist on the evening. This gives her 14 goals on the season, a team high. Lauren Gerrie contributed to the win with two goals. Nadia Pelham-Lacey had a score and two assists. She now has made it 11 straight games with multiple points. Alex Beilman and Lacey Aghazarian each had one score each to finish off Villanova.
Carlee Ries played an impressive game from in the goal with eight saves.
Early on, the Dragons struggled, allowing the first point of the game just 2:33 into regulation time. Less than a minute later, Pelham-Lacey responded for Drexel with a score off an assist from Aghazarian; however, the Wildcats would come back to score two more times in three minutes.
The Dragons could only score once more in the first half with a goal from Beilman.
Villanova led Drexel 6-2 going into the halftime break.
After the intermission, the Dragons came out strong and began looking like the team they have been this season.
Gerrie scored the first point of the half off a pass from Pelham-Lacey. After that goal, the Dragon offense came full force scoring a total of four unanswered goals. Only 38 seconds after her first score, Gerrie would score again assisted by Duffey. Just a little over a minute later, Duffey would register two goals of her own to tie it up at six.
Villanova regained the lead, but Drexel responded quickly with a goal from Aghazarian to make the score seven all.
The Dragons would get their first lead of the game with Duffey’s third score of the evening; her second unassisted of the game. She would contribute another score off a feed from Pelham-Lacey to give Drexel a two-goal advantage.
The two-goal cushion did not last long as Villanova scored with 5:17 left to play. The Wildcats had an opportunity to tie it up after winning the draw and gaining a free position. The Dragon defense came up big, beating the Villanova attack inside and blocking the offenders shot. The Wildcats were awarded another free position two minutes later, but Ries held strong in the net to deny a shot. The Dragons were able to run out the remaining time in the game and walk off the field victorious.
Coach Hannah Rudloff discussed the adjustments made from the first to second half that allowed the Dragons to come out so strong in the second half. “Villanova was being really patient with the ball in the early going, so we changed our defensive scheme to pressure them into playing a little faster. Carlee and the defense did a fantastic job rushing and getting a piece of almost all of their second half shots. Offensively, we just started hitting our shots. Emmy Duffey was lights out and picking great spots on the cage,” said Rudloff.
The team suffered their second loss of the year March 9 at home against UMBC 7-9.
Rudloff spoke about the team’s upcoming games. “Traveling always presents certain challenges, but I think the girls are really excited for where we are going,” she noted.
“We’re going to have some great competition out in California, followed by a good test at Penn State, and then we open up with conference play. Three very different situations, but all of them are very exciting and motivating in their own right,” she continued.
The Dragons will return to action when they hit the road for a six-game stretch.