Women's lacrosse tramples Utica, men drop two close games in overtime

The men's lacrosse team suffered two heartbreaking losses last week, including a 6-5 loss in double overtime against Haverford on Wednesday, March 21.

Junior attacker Mike Pizzuto scored two goals for the Knights, while freshman attacker Andrew Hanover, senior midfielder Colin Ireland, and sophomore attacker Dan Balestra scored a goal each. Senior midfielder Owahn Bazydlo was credited with an assist on Pizzuto's first goal, and sophomore Justin Rand picked up a helper on Balestra's goal.

The team started out strong, scoring four goals on 13 shots in the first period. However, Haverford took control of the game, finishing with 25 shots on goal and 47 total. The Knights were unable to keep the game in their opponent's zone, leading to just one goal for the rest of the game. "There was a big difference in possession time between the first period and the rest of the game," said head coach Jim Lyons. "We weren't able to hold onto the ball as long as we wanted to, which was caused by a combination of good offense by Haverford and some mistakes on our part," he added.

Penalties also plagued the Knights, as they were called for an uncharacteristic seven fouls. "We are usually a more disciplined team, but this resulted from us spending most of the game in our defensive end," said Lyons. The Knights do not find themselves in that situation very often, and this contributed to the result. The opposition only converted one of the seven extra-man chances, but the opportunities allowed them to slow down the game and play at their pace.

The Knights next faced off against a tough team from Ithaca on Friday, March 23, losing 14-13 in overtime. Hanover led all players with six goals and Ireland scored three times. Sophomore midfielder Jim Fiacco added two goals to go along with one goal each from Balestra and junior midfielder Steve Hutton. "It is a combination of experience and preparation," said Lyons of handling overtime. "Players need to know where they should be and be aware of their roles, which will help them in crunch time," he added. The team looks to rebound against Clarkson on Friday.

The women continued their impressive play on Saturday, March 24 with a 17-7 win over Utica. Senior attacker Emily Ward scored four goals and added three assists, combining for seven points. Junior midfielder Shauna Leonard also chipped in four goals, while sophomore midfielder Maggie Morris and sophomore attacker Bridget Riley each scored three goals. The team was able to build an 11-2 lead after the first half, which was a top priority.

"Coming out strong is a goal we carried over from last year, since we would start off slow and be forced to play catch up," said head coach Carly Peters Ritchlin. "Being able to get out front has been a point of emphasis, and we have fortunately been able to do that," added Ritchlin.

The women are so dangerous because their team is built on speed. "The team is fast across the board, so we don't have to rely on our two attackers," said Ritchlin. This allows the midfielders to come up the field and create scoring chances, as evidenced by the balanced scoring between the midfielders and attackers. The team has mastered the transition game, with the midfielders getting down the field quickly to set up the offense. Their speed also allows them to get back into defensive positioning, providing a balance of offense and defense.

"Our main goal, as always, is to win the SUNYAC tournament," said Ritchlin. "We are taking huge steps in that direction, and we are looking to play with consistency," she added. As long as the team keeps playing their type of game, they will be a threat to win it all. The team's next opponent is St. John Fisher, who they face on April 3.