SRU LAX gets rocked by second half comeback in close loss

Published by adviser, Author: Jordyn Bennett - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: April 12, 2017
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After dominating the Golden Rams for the first half, Slippery Rock lacrosse (9-2, 4-2) lost a five-goal lead to lose to no. 11 West Chester (8-2, 5-1) on Sunday afternoon.

The Rock went into the second half with a 5-1 lead over the Golden Rams.

The Green and White’s junior attacker Bre Vodde opened the half with her second goal of the game.

What looked like would be a sure win for SRU quickly changed when West Chester’s senior attacker Ashley Pyle scored back-to-back goals. Slippery Rock’s senior attacker Caitlynn Palladino responded to Pyle’s two goals with one of her own, but the momentum was already on the Golden Ram’s side.

West Chester took control of the rest of the game. WCU scored three goals in less than four minutes before senior attacker Olivia Martin scored two back-to-back goals to take the lead over The Rock. The Golden Rams would never let that lead slip away.

Despite the loss, Rock head coach Emily Hopkins found the game as something to look forward to.

“We just played with no. 11,” Hopkins said. “We could have very easily had a win.”

Hopkins and her team controlled the first half of the game. SRU’s senior attacker Chynna Chan and freshman midfielder Tori Penders scored back-to-back goals in under a minute, giving The Rock a 2-0 lead.

West Chester would respond with a goal of its own before the Green and White scored three goals straight to end the half before the Golden Rams began its comeback.

Chan, Palladino and Vodde each had two goals for The Rock. Palladino also added an assist. It was one of three for the Green and White. Midfielders redshirt junior Tia Torchia and freshman Lisa Casagrande had the other two.

SRU’s junior goalie Emily Bitka had six saves to the 10 goals she allowed.

West Chester’s Pyle led the Golden Ram’s offensive attack with a hat trick. Sophomore midfielder Sami Barnett and Martin added two goals each. Barnett and Martin had one and two assists, respectively.

WCU’s freshman goalie Nicole Martin’s seven saves were just enough to help the Golden Rams win, even with the eight goals she allowed.

Even though they lost, Hopkins and the rest of the SRU lacrosse team showed that they can play with nationally-ranked teams. They’ll need that, since they are part of a conference in which five teams are nationally-ranked and one is receiving votes.

The Rock still has to take on three of these teams this season, two in which they will face this week.

“We’re hoping for some upsets this week and to continue to forge on and be a powerhouse in the conference,” Hopkins said.

The Green and White is looking to take the momentum of knowing they compete with some of the best teams and using it in its play this week.

If Hopkins wants to continue to be a powerhouse like she said they are, this is the week that will prove it.

The Rock will make its next stop on its nationally-ranked conference tour in Indiana, Pa. to play no. 18 IUP (6-4, 5-1) at 7 p.m. on April 12.

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