The Slippery Rock women’s lacrosse team (1-0) opened their season Wednesday night with a 21-3 win at home against the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats (1-1).
The Rock offense was unfazed by the freezing conditions and exploded for 11 goals in the first half and 10 in the second.
“I think our team has meshed a lot earlier than it usually does,” SRU head coach Emily Hopkins said. “We don’t get this tight knit usually until Spring Break. We’re hoping that can make a big difference for us.”
This will be Hopkins’ seventh season as head coach for the lacrosse team. She enters this spring with a career record of 43-58.
Coming off an 8-8 season, SRU was voted to finish eighth in the PSAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
“When I first saw the rankings I was angry because we can and will do much better than eighth,” sophomore Kaytlin Callaghan said. “Now that is just another reason we will push harder to show what Rock lacrosse can really do.”
Senior Morgan Pettit accounted for seven of SRU’s goals Wednesday night and also had two assists. Callaghan had four goals and one assist and sophomore Erin Wilcox added four goals.
Freshman Caitlynn Palladino scored three goals off the bench in her first collegiate game. Sophomore Anna-Marie Warrington tallied two goals and one assist and junior Paige Constantino dished out three assists in the win.
Sophomore Hannah Houde earned the win in goal for SRU after facing only 11 shots, making six saves and giving up a career low three goals.
“She (Houde) has improved on her clears, that was something that was an issue for her last year,” Hopkins said. “It’s become more of a strength for her.”
The outcome was never in question as SRU exploded for an 11-1 lead at halftime. The Green and White held advantages over the Bobcats in shots 42-11, ground balls 21-10 and 16-10 in draw controls.
“Our team has a special bond this year,” Callaghan said. “We get along and care about each other off the field more than ever and I believe this transitions over to the field. We trust that we will all work hard to succeed and we all want to win.”
Looking forward, SRU will face Lindenwood University of Missouri (2-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday. Lindenwood is ranked 13th in NCAA DII women’s lacrosse.
This will be the first meeting against the Midwestern powerhouse and will be a true test for the teams abilities.