The Oswego State field hockey team (3-5, 1-1 SUNYAC) took its fourth loss of the 2013 season Saturday, falling 7-2 to SUNYAC rival and 17th-ranked SUNY Cortland (6-2, 2-0 SUNYAC).
The loss was the Lakers’ second straight, following their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Houghton College last week.
Saturday afternoon’s game included the Totally Teal event, as the Oswego State field hockey squad raised money and awareness for the cause of ovarian cancer.
Oswego State men’s ice hockey coach Ed Gosek’s wife Mary, who has been diagnosed with the disease, was on hand for a ceremonial ball drop at midfield prior to the game.
The field hockey team wanted to focus on a cause this season, and the Totally Teal event made sense with someone in the Laker community affected by ovarian cancer.
All proceeds for the event went to the Hope for Heather Foundation, which Mary Gosek works with in the battle against ovarian cancer.
The Red Dragons dominated the scoreboard throughout the game, scoring at least three goals per half and holding the hosts to one goal in each period.
SUNY Cortland scored what would be the game-winning goal in the 30th minute of action off the stick of freshman forward Shelby Underwood.
Underwood beat multiple Laker defenders and netted the Red Dragons’ third goal of the game.
Just under four minutes into the game, senior defender Erin Smith scored Cortland’s first goal, her first of two on the day. Smith ran a give-and-go with sophomore midfielder Jillian Vogl before finding the back of Oswego State’s cage.
About 20 minutes later, junior defender Abbey Wentlent continued the scoring on a penalty chance, which opened the door for a stretch in which both sides would combine for four goals.
Along with the goal by Underwood, Cortland’s freshman forward Gabrielle Stein rebounded her own shot for her first of two goals that afternoon.
Oswego State got its lone goal of the half off the stick of freshman Grace Rinaldi, her third of the 2013 season, which leads Oswego State.
“Grace has been a great freshman for the team,” head coach Brandi Lusk said via email. “She has stepped up and shows great composure and skill under pressure. I think she will do great things for us in the future.”
Rinaldi scored off a pass from senior forward Ashley Fiorille. The assist was Fiorille’s fifth of the season, ranking her fifth in the nation for that category.
The Red Dragons continued to control play as the game moved into the second half, scoring their fifth goal of the game early in the frame.
Just short of the 54th minute, Stein found the back of the cage off a pass from Smith. The scoring opportunity was set up by a penalty on the Lakers just a few moments before.
The Lakers would quickly respond, taking advantage of a penalty situation of their own.
Lakers senior defender Ashley Collins put home a penalty shot only 32 seconds after Stein’s goal to cut Cortland’s advantage back to three.
In the ensuing 10 minutes, Smith and Cortland senior forward Karly Vdoviak teamed up to record the Red Dragons’ final two scores.
Smith and Vdoviak grabbed a goal and an assist each as the visitors increased their lead to 7-2.
Sophomore Grace Lombardi had a tough game between the posts for the Lakers, as she allowed seven of 16 Red Dragons’ shots on goal past.
However, Lusk was happy with the young goalie’s nine-save performance.
“Grace did well, she saw a lot of great shots from Cortland,” Lusk said. “The ball has to get through 10 other people before it gets to her, so we needed to play better team defense to help her out more.”
Along with a positive view of her goalie’s performance, Lusk felt good about her team’s overall performance against a nationally-ranked opponent such as the Red Dragons.
“I think that we played well against Cortland and there were times that we really challenged them,” Lusk said. “We answered back a couple of times and I think we played well overall, I hope to see them at the end of the season in playoffs.”
Lusk is optimistic about her team’s chances this season and feels like the team can make some noise in the postseason.
“I am very confident in my team’s abilities, and we are taking it one game at a time,” Lusk said. “We are all shooting for a winning season and to make playoffs, but we need to make sure that we are focused and ready to step up for every game left in the season.”
The Lakers will face another difficult SUNYAC opponent this Saturday when they travel to SUNY Geneseo to take on the Knights (6-3, 3-0 SUNYAC) at 1 p.m.