On Wednesday, the SRU women’s lacrosse team headed to Indiana (Pa.) to square off against the arch-rival Crimson Hawks, ranked 19th in the IWLCA poll. The game was The Rock’s third of four consecutive contests against nationally ranked PSAC foes, having dropped its first two against no. 13 West Chester and No. 23 Lock Haven. In their first meeting since being bounced from the conference playoffs by IUP last May, Slippery Rock fell behind early before recuperating and claiming a 16-15 victory.
Following the opening draw, the Crimson Hawks wasted no time getting on the offensive, firing two opening minute goals behind SRU net-minder Emily Bitka, who entered the game leading the country in save percentage at .584. Slippery Rock could manage only one shot in the game’s first eight minutes, and IUP’s Ally Burrows broadened her team’s lead to 3-0 with her team-leading 30th point of the season.
Seconds later, junior midfielder Tia Torchia got the Rock on the scoreboard by netting her 15th goal of the season. The Crimson Hawks’ two top scorers, Burrows and Adriana Greco, replied in the following minutes, combining for another three markers that gave their team the game’s largest margin. Not wanting to enter the break down by five, five different SRU players netted goals in the half’s final ten minutes to even the score at six. Burrows made sure her team had the edge going into the locker room, striking with her fourth score of the first 30 minutes with only 14 ticks left on the clock.
Torchia and senior midfielder Jasey Sanders began a wild second half by scoring goals on IUP’s Lauren Piecknick. The Rock’s first lead lasted under a minute as Burrows and Greco went on another scoring run of their own. For the next twenty-plus minutes, the rival teams traded leads as Torchia and Burrows headlined the half, netting five and four tallies, respectively.
The game’s final deadlock came after Burrows netted her season’s 27th goal, and in with 48 seconds remaining in the game, SRU senior attacker Bre Vodde gave the green-and-white a 16-15 lead, which they would not relinquish, claiming the subsequent draw and bleeding the clock out.
The win, while snapping a six-game losing streak against the Crimson Hawks, was the team’s first in the PSAC this spring. Their record sitting at 5-2 (1-2 in-conference), the girls will visit another formidable opponent in the no. 21 East Stroudsburg Warriors on Saturday.