Anthony Cittadino, Staff Writer
The Utica College women’s lacrosse team split its past two games, defeating SUNY Potsdam and falling to SUNY Oswego. Junior Rebecca Plunkett scored five goals in the win over Potsdam, including the game-winner in overtime.
The Pioneers traveled Saturday to Potsdam to face off for their second consecutive road game. The game opened up early in the first half with the Bears scoring a goal just a minute and a half in. UC quickly responded three minutes later, tying the game with a goal from sophomore Brooke Miller.
Miller finished with one goal and two assists.
“Overall against Potsdam I think we played really well on both offense and defense,” she said. “Our energy was up and we came out ready to play and that attitude really stuck with us throughout the whole game, especially when we went into overtime. Individually, everyone had a great game and if we play like I know we can then I see us going really far and doing big things this season.”
The scoring in the first half went back and forth with the lead changing six times. UC ended its scoring in the first half with a tying goal from junior Sara Hennessey.
“I feel that was one of our best games played due to the effort given and due to the fact we stayed composed and focused,” Hennessey said. “We individually gave our best and we were rewarded for our effort.”
As the second half opened up, the Bears took a two-goal lead 7-5. Nearly a minute later, Plunkett got the Pioneers back within one.
Still down one, the Pioneers did not let up as senior Courtney Wheeler netted the equalizer to tie the game up at seven. The final 19 minutes of the game was a defensive battle that led to overtime.
With nine seconds left to go in the first period of overtime, Plunkett netted the winning goal for her fifth goal on the day. Head coach Kristen St. Hilaire praised her team’s resilience.
“The overtime win against Potsdam was a great growing experience for our team,” she said. “We stayed poised and controlled in the overtime period, executing our game plan perfectly. It is important to be in close non-conference games like that early in the season to prepare us for the tough conference play and the pressure we will be under in those games.”
The Pioneers’ next game against Oswego did not go as well. The Lakers handed UC their third loss as the Lakers won 13-5. Oswego finished the first half of play up 8-1.
Hennessey scored two goals for the Pioneers.
“I believe our team as a whole outplayed our opponent, we just fell short with the goals,” she said. “We hustled to every ball, made smart decisions and stayed patient when needed. I believe the only problem was that we had a tough time finishing our shots.”
The Pioneers played more to their ability in the second half, scoring four goals but it still was not enough as the Lakers tacked on another five, winning 13-5.
Despite the loss, St. Hilaire is expecting big things the rest of the way.
“We have a very positive outlook for the rest of the season moving forward,” she said. “We have learned some valuable things from the first six games and are looking to improve upon them as we move through our schedule.”
The loss drops UC to 3-3 overall. The Pioneers will open conference play this Saturday as they head to Elmira for a 1 p.m. start.
Featured Image; Junior Rebecca Plunkett scored five goals, including the game-winner in overtime as the Pioneers defeated Potsdam 8-7 Saturday. Photo by Larry Pacilio.