Dragons begin CAA play with 12-11 win over Hofstra

Nadia

After scoring a season high eight consecutive goals in the first half, the Drexel University women’s lacrosse team held off a comeback effort from Hofstra University and captured a 12-11 win at Vidas Field April 7.

It was Drexel’s first Colonial Athletic Association matchup of the season, so the Dragons got off to a good start in conference play.

“Getting your first win in the CAA is huge, so I’m really glad that we got it with the first game of our CAA play. It just, it’s a momentum from here on out that’ll just help us rise up into our next game,” junior Molly Savage said April 7.

The Dragons got off to a furious start against the Pride and scored the first eight goals of the contest. Junior Nadia Pelham-Lacey scored a goal less than 40 seconds into the first half, which began Drexel’s offensive onslaught.

Senior Lauren Gerrie scored the next two goals for Drexel, the first unassisted and the second off of a pass from senior Caroline Thiele. Moments later, Thiele dished out another assist as junior Alex Beilman caught Thiele’s pass and fired the ball into the net at around the 20th minute.

Pelham-Lacey followed up by scoring her second goal of the day at the 18:26 mark, which extended Drexel’s lead to 5-0. Then, Beilman found the net with 8:14 remaining in the first half, making her the third Dragon on the day to score multiple goals.

Not to be outdone by her teammates, Gerrie scored her third goal of the evening on a ridiculous backhand scoopshot with 7:18 remaining in the first half. Gerrie’s score not only gave her a hat-trick, but it also gave the Dragons seven consecutive goals, which tied their longest streak of the season.

It didn’t take long for Drexel to best that streak, however, as senior Devin Nihill scored her first goal of the game off an assist from Pelham-Lacey with 4:49 left until halftime.

Out to a commanding 8-0 lead, it appeared as if the Dragons were going to coast to victory. However, the Pride would not go quietly into the night, thanks in large part to their freshman phenom Alyssa Parella, who entered the day as the CAA’s points leader.

With just over a minute left until halftime, Parella broke Drexel’s goal streak and got the Pride on the board with a goal of their own. It would be the lone score of the first half for Hofstra, cutting Drexel’s lead to 8-1.

Coming out of halftime, the Pride looked hungry. Hofstra scored in the opening 40 seconds of the second half when Lexi Lanaghan, off of an assist from Parella, put a shot past Drexel’s senior goalkeeper Carlee Ries. Then, a few minutes later, Parella scored her second goal of the day, cutting Drexel’s lead to 8-3.

Pelham-Lacey answered with a goal at around the 21 minute mark in the second half, pushing Drexel’s lead back up to six. However, the Pride scored the next two goals of the game, one by Becky Conto and the other by Morgan Knox, to come within four points of the Dragons.

Alex Beilman picked up a hat trick with just 15 minutes left in the game, and her goal put Drexel up 10-5. Regardless, Hofstra refused to go away, and the Pride scored four of the game’s next five goals, trimming Drexel’s lead to 11-9 with 8:09 left to play.

“We expected them in the second half to definitely come out, come back with a fight. We weren’t expecting to just walk away with a win,” Savage said.

Pelham-Lacey scored a clutch goal at the 7:11 mark in the second, giving the Dragons some breathing room as it stretched their lead to 12-9. Hofstra was quick to counter, though, as Conto scored her fourth and fifth goal of the game at the 6:31 and 5:16 marks respectively. With just over five minutes remaining, the Dragons once commanding lead had evaporated to just one point.

“As it got closer, it definitely got a little more hectic, but we practice pressure situations every single day in practice. So we were prepared and we were confident in every single person, even when we made mistakes. I made mistakes, my teammates had my back the whole way,” Savage said.

Under pressure, the Dragons’ defense prevailed with two key stops that kept the Pride from tying the game. All Drexel fans in attendance breathed a sigh of relief as the Dragons held on for a 12-11 victory.

“The CAA, it’s a tough league. Every team is going to fight for every single game. Every single game matters, especially when it comes down towards the send of the season, so the early games, on, count,” Savage said.

Pelham-Lacey finished the day as Drexel’s top scorer, with five goals and one assist. Beilman and Gerrie each finished with three goals for the Dragons.

Parella ended up scoring six points for Hofstra, with four goals and two assists. Conto finished the game with five goals, the high mark of the day for a Pride player.

With the win, the Dragons improved to 6-5 on the season and 1-0 in the CAA. Drexel will travel to Elon University April 14 to take on the Phoenix in another CAA matchup.