Back in the nation’s top 25, the Slippery Rock University women’s lacrosse team hit the road on Tuesday for a meeting with #22 Lock Haven.
It was the second time this season they would visit the Bald Eagles, as back in late-March LHU prevailed 13-7. That loss was the only road defeat of the spring for SRU, and the Green and White hoped to get even in a more meaningful PSAC postseason game.
It only took Lock Haven’s Dana Laulis 40 seconds to break the seal on the scoreboard, but, less than a minute later, ShyAnne Toomer was granted a free position attempt following a Lock Haven foul. The Rock’s sophomore midfielder knotted the game up with the opportunity, netting her 28th marker of the season.
In the subsequent minutes, Laulis assisted on a pair of Bald Eagles goals, by midfielders Ashley Gochenaur and Katie Costanza. Toomer replied, this time with 22:50 left on the clock, drawing closer to the Bald Eagles.
Down a man with little over a minute-and-a-half remaining before the interlude, Toomer got a hat trick on an assist by junior midfielder Erin Brown. 49 seconds later, freshman midfielder Caitlyn Byerly tied the game at 4-4 before the half.
Again, Lock Haven wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard at the start of the half, with Costanza scoring her team-leading 56th goal of 2018 on a give from Gochenaur. LHU goalie Lauren Marte denied three shots on goal in the following sequence, allowing her teammate Gochenaur to once again stretch the team’s advantage to two.
Later, SRU scoring leader, redshirt junior midfielder Tia Torchia, and freshman attacker Francesca Lindelow pulled the teams back even. Those goals, however, would be the last of the Rock’s record-breaking 2018 season. Slippery Rock was held scoreless in the contest’s final 20 minutes, and the Bald Eagles pulled away for a 9-6 victory and the right to face top-seeded and undefeated West Chester in the conference semifinals.
The Rock led in almost each major statistical category in the game, managing nine more shots than the Bald Eagles and five more of them on goal. They also were one of the only teams this season to lead Lock Haven on the draw and had more ground balls.
At 25-11, Slippery Rock’s record in the past two years is the best during such a stretch since the program’s reinstatement in 2007. Each of SRU’s five losses this season came to nationally-ranked PSAC foes.