Rock lacrosse opens season with 8-7 last minute win

Published by , Author: Jake Bartus - Rocket Contributor, Date: March 14, 2017

On a windy Wednesday afternoon, the Slippery Rock lacrosse team opened their 2017 season against the Seton Hill Griffins. The result was a 8-7 victory by The Rock.

Head coach Emily Hopkins was pleased with the teams play and liked the teams tenacity and the fight from her team.

“Battling the conditions made it tough. It was our first game, their third, to stay with it and get our feet under us,” Hopkins said. “The wind defiantly had an impact and we stayed tough and continued to fight.”

Slippery Rock started the game with one freshman two sophomores, four juniors and five seniors. Junior Emily Bitka, a transfer from the University of Albany made her first start at goalie in a Slippery Rock uniform.

The Rock started the game out with the first two goals of the game. Redshirt Junior Ally Culhane got The Rock on the board one minute and 53 seconds into the game. Redshirt Sophomore Tia Torchia added the second Slippery Rock goal one minute and 25 seconds after the first goal.

Seton Hill then stormed back and scored the next four goals until senior Caitlynn Palladino scored her first goal of the season with 14 minutes and two seconds left in the first half. Seton Hill added another goal, before senior Bre Vodde finished the scoring in the first half to make the score 5-4 Seton Hill at the half.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Seton Hill extended the lead to 6-4. Slippery Rock then came back and scored two goals. Slippery Rock’s goals were scored by Vodde and freshman Lisa Casagrande scored her first goal at Slippery Rock to knot the score at 6-6.

Seton Hill then retook the lead with 18:15 left in the game, and would not score the rest of the game. Vodde completed the hat trick with 17:11 left in the game. The teams remained tied at seven going into the final minute.

In the final minute with Slippery Rock a man up, Coach Hopkins called timeout.

“We called a timeout, We told them we had plenty of time left, we were a man up,” Hopkins said. “We told them not to force anything, and to take our look when it came.”

That look came with 25 seconds left when Palladino beat the Seton Hill goal keeper  to give Slippery Rock the win. Slippery Rock won the ensuing faceoff and ran down the rest of the clock.

Vodde finished with a hat trick and Palladino finished with two goals. Bitka made 13 saves in the cage.

Hopkins added about Bitka, “She had a bunch of (saves), she was a big defensive changer for us.”

The team returns to action for three games in Florida over spring break. The Rock will face Saint Anselm College on March 11, the University of Tampa on March 13, and then finish the Florida trip on March 16 with a game against Georgetown College.  The team returns to PSAC play on March 21 with a game at Edinboro.


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