Consecutive losses for w. lacrosse put playoff hopes at risk

Photo courtesy Drexeldragons.com

Photo courtesy Drexeldragons.com

After back-to-back conference losses last weekend, the Drexel University women’s lacrosse team will play at home against the University of Delaware April 29 in a win-and-in matchup for the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs.

With the Dragons holding a 2-3 record in the CAA and the Blue Hens sporting a 3-2 record in conference, the winner will earn the league’s fourth and final playoff spot.

Had the Dragons won both of their games last weekend, they would have already clinched a playoff berth. However, the two teams they played, James Madison University April 21 and Towson University April 23, were both ranked in the Top 20 of Division I Lacrosse.

JMU, Drexel’s first opponent, took the Dragons down 19-7 at Vidas field. The game got out of hand early as the Dukes outscored the Dragons 14-4 in the opening 25 minutes of the first half.

After that, Drexel was able to momentarily get back into to things with a 3-0 scoring run that began when senior Devin Nihill netted a goal at the 3:20 mark in the first half. Then the Dragons came out of halftime and scored the first two goals of the second period, one by freshman Caroline Cummings and the other by graduate student Lisa Rogers.

With their lead trimmed to 14-7, the Dukes responded by scoring the final five goals of the game as they cruised to a 19-7 victory. Cummings, who had her first career multiple goal game, was a lone bright spot for the Dragons.

Following their home loss to the Dukes, the Dragons hit the road to play the Towson Tigers April 23. Once again, Drexel was plagued by a slow start as Towson scored the first five goals of the game.

The Dragons got on the board for the first time at the 9:08 mark in the opening half, again off of a goal from Nihill. Sparked by Nihill, Drexel went on a 4-2 run into halftime, which was capped by a Rogers goal that found the net just eight seconds before the first half clock expired.

At the midway point, Drexel had cut Towson’s lead to 7-4 and had all of the momentum on its side. However, the Tigers are a nationally ranked power for a reason, and they proved that early in the second half by killing Drexel’s momentum with a 3-0 stretch.

In a game of runs, the Dragons made one final push. After trailing 10-4 with less than 14 minutes to go, the Dragons scored three consecutive goals to get back within three of Towson. Regardless, the Tigers got the last laugh, scoring the game’s final four goals and picking up a 14-7 win.
Against the Blue Hens, the Dragons will have one final chance to clinch a playoff berth. If they are able to do so, their first round opponent would likely be JMU, who bounced the Dragons from the CAA playoffs last season in a 15-3 rout at Vidas Field.