February 24, 2012 by Brian Palmer
The Drexel women’s lacrosse team started its season off strong with back-to-back wins at Vidas Field against George Washington University Feb. 19 and Saint Joseph’s University Feb. 22.
The Dragons got off to an ideal start against GWU when junior Kelli Joran and sophomore Alissa Watts gave the team an early 2-0 lead. After those goals, George Washington commanded the rest of the half due to the Dragons’ lack of effective defense. The Dragons also had two yellow cards, resulting in two goals for the Colonials.
Head coach Anna Marie Vesco stated that the team’s lack of discipline contributed to the lackluster performance in the first half.
The second half was a completely different story. The Dragons changed their defensive tactics, reverting to a low-pressure defense and attacking the weaker hands of GWU. As a result, the Dragons found tremendous success.
Trailing 8-5, Drexel scored six unanswered goals within the first 15 minutes of the second half. Sophomore Amanda Norcini scored three of her career-high four goals in that span. Vesco was quick to praise Norcini about her performance.
“She was all over the place, on offense and defense. She was a real force,” Vesco said of her midfielder.
Along with Norcini’s career performance, seniors Jaclyn Klunder and Charlotte Wood and junior Alyse Maiden added points to close out the six-goal scoring spree at the start of the second half.
The Dragons continued to pull away and won the game by a final score of 15-10. In defeating GWU, sophomore Amanda Santandrea completed her first full game as starting goalie for the Dragons. Santandrea started out slow but picked up her performance throughout the contest, finishing with 10 saves.
“She was a little nervous to begin, but she stood strong,” Vesco said. “Anytime you end up with a save percentage of 50 percent, it’s good.”
After defeating GWU Vesco and the team were focused on the next two games against St. Joseph’s University and the all-important rivalry against the No. 11 University of Pennsylvania.
Coming into the match against St. Joe’s, Vesco wanted to make sure her team was clicking on all cylinders.
Lindsey Kovar got the ball rolling for the Dragons by scoring a goal less than a minute into play. Norcini, who finished with four points, quickly followed with back-to-back goals of her own. With efforts from Klunder and Alissa Watts, Drexel took an early and commanding 5-3 lead. For the remainder of the half, the Dragons only gave up one more score to the Hawks while they proceeded to score six, closing the half at 13-4.
The second half proved to be as equally one-sided as the first. Though the Hawks managed to squeeze in six goals, the Dragons held onto their lead throughout and defeated St. Joe’s 18-10.
In the end, Drexel outshot the Hawks 24-17 and managed to have 10 different members of the roster put points on the board.
This was a solid showing for a team looking to make a statement Feb. 25, when the Dragons will host No.11 Penn at 3 p.m.