March 14, 2014 by Howard Hutchinson
Following a three-game losing streak, the Drexel women’s lacrosse team has bounced back strong, winning back-to-back games. These included a win against University of Maryland, Baltimore County and most recently a 10-8 victory over rival La Salle University March 13.
Looking to rebound off a recent slump, the Dragons took to Vidas Field March 8 to face UMBC. Drexel was strong out of the gate and took a 4-0 lead by the 14:48 mark of the first half. Goals by Joelle Hartke, Kelly Palace, Alissa Watts and Emily Duffey got the Dragons off to a very quick start.
Following their four-goal outburst, the Dragons’ offense was stymied by UMBC for 22:55, which allowed the Retrievers to climb back in the game. In the 25th minute, UMBC broke the shutout and added a second goal with less than one minute remaining in the first half.
UMBC kept their momentum into the early parts of the second half as they capitalized on some Drexel mistakes to tie the game with 27:35 to play. The Retrievers’ Kristen Bilney scored her second goal of the contest to knot it up.
The Dragons wasted no time putting the pressure back on UMBC and retook the lead with 21:54 remaining, when Duffey took on the Retrievers’ defense down the field and capitalized on her efforts.
The goal by Duffey began a back-and-forth affair between the two teams as Drexel had to recapture the lead three times during the second half. The Retrievers were quick to respond to Duffey’s goal as they tied the game a short two minutes later.
The Dragons regained the lead off a free position shot by Amanda Norcini and extended it with 18:04 left courtesy of Caroline Thiele. Once again, however, UMBC fought back to tie the game at 7-7, scoring two quick goals just five minutes after Drexel took a two-goal advantage.
With the game even and 12:35 left on the clock, Palace took over the game. She found the goal, beating UMBC goalkeeper Kelly Gielner to the upper left corner, to put Drexel back on top, 8-7. Palace followed that up just over six minutes later, converting a free position shot for the eventual game winner.
The game did not end without some tense moments for Drexel as the Retrievers cut the lead to one goal with just 5:05 remaining. UMBC put pressure on the Dragons down the stretch, but goalkeeper Teresha Bradley was up to the task and helped secure the victory.
Following their strong performance against UMBC, the Dragons traveled to La Salle on Wednesday looking to secure their first road victory of the season.
Just as in their previous match, the Dragons started quick and grabbed an early two-goal lead courtesy of Eva Winiarski and Watts. The Explorers, however, rebounded fast after falling behind and put together a streak of four straight goals to take a 4-2 lead.
At the 12:47 mark, Palace brought Drexel back to within one of La Salle with her first of three goals on the night. Duffey evened the score with 5:49 remaining in the first half with an unassisted tally, and Watts followed only 30 seconds later to put the Dragons back on top.
Drexel tallied two more goals in the final 100 seconds of the first half. Palace scored her second of the night, and Winiarski followed to give the Dragons a three-goal cushion heading into the second half.
The Dragons opened the second half the same way they finished the first. Palace and Winiarski both captured hat tricks to give Drexel a commanding 9-4 lead. After the Dragons held La Salle without a goal for over 30 minutes of play, the Explorers finally broke through when Caitlyn Brostrand scored with 13:03 left.
La Salle put together an attempt at a comeback as they worked their way to within two goals, but Drexel secured the victory in the end.
The Dragons will be back in action March 15 when they will travel to the University of Louisville in an attempt to win their second straight road game and third overall.