Loss ends postseason hopes for women's lax

On Tuesday, April 29, the Geneseo women's lacrosse team suffered a season-ending loss against SUNY Brockport, falling to the Eagles 11-9.

The loss, coupled with a loss to SUNY Cortland on Saturday and a victory over Elmira last Thursday, gave the Blue Knights an 11-5 record overall and left them 4-4 in conference play for the season.

Head coach Carly Ritchlin was disappointed with the loss.

"I felt we were ready to take on Brockport and prove that we deserve a third seed in SUNYACs," she said. "We ended up making a lot of mental errors, mistakes that we normally don't make. It took a toll on us, and we just couldn't get our heads back in the game."

Against Elmira, Geneseo's offense rolled smoothly and efficiently as they dispatched the Eagles 19-7. Geneseo scored the first five goals of the game and 16 goals in the first half alone.

Senior Shauna Leonard, who scored seven goals and added three assists, led the Blue Knights' attack. Leonard moved into second place on the all-time points list at Geneseo, just behind 2005 graduate Lauren Chatterton.

Junior Maggie Morris played an important part in the attack, scoring four goals; sophomore Tara Murphy added three of her own.

Geneseo went in to Saturday's contest against Cortland with high hopes of challenging one of the top teams in the SUNYAC conference but were disappointed as they came up short, losing 14-11.

The first half was fought to a tie as Geneseo out-shot Cortland 20-15. The second half was a different story, as Cortland scored four consecutive goals in just under eight minutes to take the lead.

Senior Colleen Byrne led the way for Geneseo with three goals. Morris and Murphy each found the back of the net twice in support. Leonard was held to one score on the afternoon, but became the career leader at Geneseo with 153 goals. Junior Hannah McKee recorded eight saves on the day.

The loss put the Knights on the brink of playoff elimination going into Tuesday's contest against Brockport. It was a hard-fought game as both teams struggled to win the last available seed in the SUNYAC conference, but Brockport prevailed with an 11-9 victory in a game that was a 5-5 tie at intermission.

The teams matched one another in almost every aspect of the game as each side had 23 shots on the day and 22 turnovers. In the second half, however, the Eagles scored the first three goals to take control of the game.

The Blue Knights pulled within one goal of tying the game on the second goal by freshman Lauren Burgoon, but Brockport scored twice to take back the three-goal lead.

Leonard and Morris led the way for Geneseo with three goals apiece. Hannah McKee and freshman Annie Smith split time in the crease and recorded five saves total. Junior Laura Kitts tallied two assists.

"Overall we have had several uncommon injuries or illnesses," Ritchlin said of the team's season. "We will come together next fall in our off-season to work on several aspects of the game."

Ritchlin had a clear understanding of what the team intends to work on for the upcoming year, including "handling pressure situations, decision making, being able to read the game - 'game sense' we call it - stick control, transition and draws. These are crucial parts of the game that we need to perfect. In the end we are a young team, and we have a great foundation to work from."