Behind a second-half offensive rejuvenation, the Slippery Rock University lacrosse team (4-6, 3-4 in PSAC) defeated visiting Millersville (7-4, 5-2) Sunday by the score of 8-7, snapping a two-game losing streak.
The scoring opened with 17:51 left in the first half when MU’s Genevieve Speights skipped a free position shot behind SRU’s Haley Barrett. The Rock’s Francesca Lindelow, a sophomore attacker, evened the scoreboard half a minute later. The Marauders’ ensuing three-goal run gave them the advantage for the break.
The guests stretched their lead to 5-1 with less than a minute having gone by in the second period. Then, ranking second-to-last in average scoring entering the day, the Slippery Rock offense stirred.
Each Hayley Pimentel, Kelsey Thoensen, Emily Benham, Sami Gentzler, and ShyAnne Toomer buried markers that all of a sudden gave their squad a 6-5. The surge of goals came within a short span of 1:15.
“We’ve been working on offensive concepts until we’re blue in the face at practice,” third-year Rock head coach Kelsey Van Alstyne said. “It was nice to see some draw-and-dumps and some nice feeds and threading the needle and finishing. I think they found some confidence when they started to have some success and it just continued to snowball.”
The lead didn’t last more than four minutes, though, as Millersville tied the score back up with SRU’s Lindelow serving time on a sideline chair for a yellow card. Soon after, The Rock was trailing again.
With their second scores of the game, Benham and Toomer recaptured the lead. A closing effort by the back end didn’t allow an MU shot past the seven-minute mark. The visitors had two possessions in the on the offensive end in the final two minutes but coughed the ball up both times.
“Defensively, we’ve continued to come out and really give teams a hard time,” Van Alstyne said. It was really impressive, especially at the end, forcing them to make passes and forcing them out of their game. It’s what we like to do.”
Both teams ended with 23 shots, but the Marauders held a slight 18-16 advantage in directing them toward the net. The teams were also identical in the turnover category, losing the ball 27 times.
Goalie Haley Barrett played one of her best games in a Rock uniform, registering 11 saves and allowing only three free position goals on 14 tries.
The win against the Marauders was the Rock’s eighth in its last nine tries, pulling the Green and White within one victory of knotting up an all-time series that reaches back to 1979.
Having successfully defended its home turf all but one time this spring, Slippery Rock will look to further improve its record Wednesday against Edinboro. The first draw will take place at 4 p.m.