April 26, 2013 by John Chagaris
The Drexel University women’s lacrosse team (11-5, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association) split a pair of weekend games against rivals the University of Delaware (10-6, 4-3 CAA) and Towson University (8-8, 6-1 CAA).
The Dragons beat Delaware 11-6 April 19 in a game that saw the Blue Hens give up seven goals in the second half after leading going into halftime. Drexel then traveled to Towson, Md., April 21 and fell to the Tigers 14-8.
The Blue Hens got on the board first against the Dragons and carried a 5-4 lead into halftime. Head coach Anna Marie Vesco said that her players were still mentally in the game even though they were down at the half.
“The girls were very focused and mentally ready to play [Delaware],” Vesco said. “It’s a great rivalry.”
Five minutes into the second half, attacker Jessica Rudloff opened the scoring for Drexel. The Dragons scored seven goals and held Delaware to one goal on their way to the win.
Both senior attack Kelli Joran and Rudloff scored hat tricks in the game, while sophomore goalie Teresha Bradley stopped nine shots and was awarded the win.
The story was the same against Towson, except the Dragons came out on the wrong side. Drexel went down early in the first half, giving up seven unanswered goals to start the first half. Freshman midfielder Emily Duffey got the Dragons on the board with eight minutes remaining in the first half, and she scored another with two minutes remaining.
Vesco explained that it was Towson’s system that gave Drexel some trouble.
“Towson capitalized on our mistakes. In addition, Towson runs a backer defense, which is used to neglect challenges and isolation plays. Our attack is more based on isolations, so it took a while for us to get our composure with the passing game.”
The Dragons kept up with the Tigers in the second half, scoring six goals to Towson’s seven, but the first-half deficit was too much for them to overcome. Senior midfielder Kristin Kopenhaver scored two goals in the second half while senior attacker Alyse Maiden, sophomore attacker Alissa Watts, Rudloff and Joran each netted one goal in the half.
The Dragons will travel to Hempstead, N.Y., April 27 to face Hofstra University (9-7, 3-3 CAA) for their final game of the season. Drexel hasn’t beaten the Pride since 2006, and Vesco wants the win for her seniors in particular.
“It would be a nice momentum boost for us to get the [win] against Hofstra,” Vesco said. “Our senior group has never beaten them.”
With the win, Towson locked up the No. 1 seed in the CAA Tournament. James Madison University (11-5, 6-1 CAA) will be the No. 2 seed because the Tigers won the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Dragons are currently slotted in third place in the conference with one game remaining. They have already clinched a spot in the conference tournament because of their head-to-head win over Delaware, but a loss to Hofstra would bump them down to fourth. Hofstra holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Delaware.