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W. lax erupts en route to 9-6 win | The Triangle

W. lax erupts en route to 9-6 win

Junior attacker Alissa Watts carries the ball in a March 12 victory versus La Salle University. Watts and the Dragons play again April 18 at James Madison University. (Ajon Brodie)
Junior attacker Alissa Watts carries the ball in a March 12 victory versus La Salle University. Watts and the Dragons play again April 18 at James Madison University. (Ajon Brodie)

It was all smiles for the Drexel women’s lacrosse team on April 12’s 9-6 win over the Monmouth University Blue Hawks, the Dragons’ second straight win.

The team looked to start off on top as in their previous win against Towson University, but breaking through proved difficult. Both defenses held solid for five minutes before Drexel junior midfielder Joelle Hartke gave the Dragons a 1-0 lead.

Both teams executed well on defense. Neither team could set up and run a play in the first half, but the Dragons found their spots. Around the 20 minute mark, senior attacker Kelly Palace took a free position shot, which was saved by Monmouth goalie Katie Donohoe. But the Dragons’ sophomore midfielder Emily Duffey recovered the ball and was able to score her 12th goal of the season to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead.

Behind a steel curtain of defense with the offense beginning to come alive, the Dragons continued to build their lead. With less than 17 minutes left in the first half, Duffey scored her 13th goal of the season and the Dragons went up to 3-0 lead.

Drexel was playing Monmouth much like they played against Towson University. Jumping to an early lead helped not only the offense begin to catch fire but also kept the defense solid.

Three minutes after Duffey’s second goal, the Dragons’ offense struck again. Palace scored her 27th goal of the season to give the Dragons a 4-0 lead. The Dragons were sharp and would not become complacent after scoring four unanswered goals. Sophomore midfielder Emily Kellett found a pair of chances and scored on a free position goal to put Drexel on top, 5-0, with her third goal of the season.

With just under nine minutes left in the first period, Hartke scored her second goal of the game and put Drexel on top, 6-0.

Monmouth had a chance to overcome the zero in their tally column with a free position goal attempt, but it was blocked by a simply unbreakable Drexel defense. With just under seven minutes left in the first period, Drexel freshman midfielder Lacey Aghazarian scored her second goal of the year and put Drexel ahead by seven.

Monmouth found a way to break the Dragons’ defenses in the first period, scoring two goals — both coming with fewer than six minutes left in the first to give the Blue Hawks some momentum heading into the second period.

After a yellow card foul was called on Drexel, Monmouth took advantage and scored its third goal of the game to draw within four, 7-3. Another free position shot was given to Monmouth, but again the shot went wide, keeping the Dragons up four at halftime.

The second half was well fought. The Dragons tried to hang on to the momentum they had in the first half and Monmouth tried to chip away at it.

Both teams continued their solid defense until a Monmouth foul gave Palace a free shot attempt. She converted for her 28th goal of the season and second of the game to give the Dragons an 8-3 lead with just under 18 minutes left.

Monmouth broke the Dragons’ defenses again with an assisted score from Claudia LaMarca, making the game 8-4. Monmouth was given another opportunity to score quickly after a foul was called against Drexel. Junior goalkeeper Teresha Bradley, however, would not allow Monmouth to chip away at the score, making a save and keeping the Blue Hawks down four.

Just seconds after the save, Monmouth received yet another free position shot attempt. This time Bradley would not be able to make the save and the Blue Hawks’ Stephanie Anderson stripped the lead down to three, making the game 8-5 with just under 15 minutes to play.

The game played on with no one scoring until 90 seconds were left in the game. The Dragons’ Duffey scored again to make it 9-5 and put the game out of reach for the Blue Hawks. Monmouth scored one more goal, making the end score 9-6 in favor of the Dragons.

This win gives the Dragons momentum heading into three conference games, with two being away from home.

But the team doesn’t want to rest on its momentum.

“Having won two games in a row, we’re focusing on keeping our practices competitive,” head coach Hannah Rudloff said. “Every drill is a competition and has a winner or a loser, and I think that’s helping the girls stay sharp and focused on the moment.”

The Dragons will attempt to extend the streak in Virginia, where they will play conference opponent James Madison University April 18.