In the first of back-to-back home games this weekend, the Slippery Rock women’s lacrosse team defeated Kutztown University 5-3 in a chilly Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) game. The win puts Slippery Rock at 9-1 overall and 4-1 in PSAC play. The Rock has also gone 4-0 at home this season.
The first half, both teams struggled to find the back of the net. Both teams were scoreless until freshman ShyAnne Toomer scored her third goal of the year 17 minutes into the game. Kutztown would score the next two goals and take a 2-1 lead into the half despite Slippery Rock out-shooting them 14-3 in total shots and 7-2 in shots on goal.
Slippery Rock scored the first two goals of the second half on goals by senior Caitlynn Palladino and freshman Lisa Casagrande, to take a 3-2 lead just over 10 minutes into the half. Palladino’s goal was her team-leading 21st of the year, and Casagrande’s goal was her sixth of her rookie campaign.
Head coach Emily Hopkins has been pleased by the team’s freshmen this year.
“The freshmen have been huge this year,” Hopkins said. “We graduated a lot of offensive production last year, we knew we would have to lean on our freshman in addition to the upperclassman stepping up this year.”
After Casagrande scored to make it 3-2, neither team scored for nearly 10 minutes until Emily Leeb of Kutztown tied the game at three. Kutztown would not score the rest of the game after Leeb’s goal. The game was tied for the next five minutes until Rock senior Chynna Chan scored her 10th of the season, which turned out to be the game-winning goal. With 39 seconds left, redshirt junior Ally Culhane put the game out of reach when she scored her ninth goal of the season with an assist to Chan on the goal.
Hopkins knew her defensive could keep the team in the game when the offense was struggling to find the back of the net.
“The defense was defiantly killing it when we lost to Bloomsburg in a low-scoring game,” Hopkins said. “We said, probably nine times out of ten if we give up that few of goals we are going to win. Apparently today we were able to do that.”
Slippery Rock looks to get win number 10 tomorrow against West Chester. This is the team’ s Breast Cancer Awareness game, and the game will start at 3 p.m. at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.