In Wednesday’s non-conference contest against Tiffin University, The Rock lacrosse team came out on top 16-9. This was the team’s first game in a 364-day stretch, and now a year after they were scheduled to open up on the new turf in Thompson-Mihalik stadium, the team was able to pull out a win in the first game on the turf.
“[Getting back on the field] was awesome, I typically give a pregame speech and this one was very short and sweet because I said, ‘you know we’ve all been thinking about and talking about this moment so let’s just get out there and go do it,’” said head coach Kelsey Van Alstyne.
That was exactly what the team did, and they were able to go out and dominate the first half. Francesca Lindelow struck first for The Rock and after that The Rock took complete control of the game. In the first half four different players scored including Katie Dlugosz, Jamie Dicarlo, and Emily Benham. At the half, The Rock took a 6-1 lead and took control due to defensive play.
“We were doing really well and at one point it was a one-point game, but I was really proud of my seniors because they never got flustered and they never turned on each other,” Van Alstyne said. “It was so great to walk away with so many goals scored, and everyone contributed, and it was just so much fun to be out there competing again.”
Van Alstyne had a lot to say about the performance of freshman goalkeeper Gillian O’Rourke who had ten saves in the game on 21 shots. She allowed nine goals, but only one in the first half. Van Alstyne mentioned that she kept her cool and did a good job in goal, and most of the goals in the second half were due to defensive breakdowns.
At one point in the second half, Tiffin was able to bring the game back to one goal at 9-8, but only 35 seconds after Tiffin turned it into a one goal game Charleigh Rondeau scored an unassisted goal that brought the game back to Slippery Rock’s control. It stayed that way for the rest of the game as The Rock outscored Tiffin 6-1 in the final ten minutes of the game.
The Rock had multiple players score more than one goal including Hayley Pimentel, who had four goals, and Emily Benham, who had three. The Rock had an offensive explosion throughout the game and this explosion countered their defensive breakdowns and ensured the Rock would hold to the season opener. The Rock has now opened a season with a win for the past 12 years.
The Rock is scheduled to return to action on Monday at IUP for their first PSAC game.