Lakers prepare for Brockport

The Oswego State women’s lacrosse team will be playing its last home game of the season on Saturday when the Lakers host The College at Brockport.

With the Lakers currently on the fringe of the playoff picture, the game has playoff implications.

The Lakers (8-3, 1-2 SUNYAC) will be looking to even out their conference record, as the team has only won one of their first three SUNYAC contests.

Oswego State’s two conference losses came against second-ranked SUNY Cortland and No. 20 SUNY Fredonia. The Lakers’ lone conference win came at home against Buffalo State.

The Lakers have struggled offensively in conference play. They scored only eight goals against the Blue Devils, six goals against the Bengals and a season-low three goals against the Red Dragons. They are averaging only 5.6 goals a game in conference play.

Out of conference play, the Lakers have dominated, posting a 7-1 record and averaging almost 12 goals a game.

The Lakers’ leading scorer Erannan Shattuck has six points in conference play (five goals and one assist) while Brittany Koelmel and Emily Lange are tied for second on the team with two goals apiece.

The Lakers have had a balanced offense most of the season, but have struggled to keep that balance in conference play.

Esther Gabriel has 30 points this season, but only one goal against SUNYAC opponents. Along with her two conference goals, Lange has notched 14 more scores in eight other games against non-conference opponents.

The Lakers’ strength is in their defense. Overall, the Lakers surrendered just over seven goals per game. Senior goalie Nikki Greco is holding a 7.24 goals against average and has made 94 saves.

She was recently named SUNYAC goalie of the week after posting three wins against Buffalo State, Houghton College and Clarkson University. She posted 16 saves in those three games.

On April 11, Greco registered eight saves to help Oswego State secure the victory against Clarkson.

The Lakers defense has performed well against other top scorers in the SUNYAC. Against SUNY Cortland, they held Erica Geremia, the SUNYAC’s leading scorer, to only four points.

Buffalo State’s leading scorer, Becca Martinez, found herself shut out by Greco and the Lakers’ defense. Meghan Farrell and Kendra Thomas, the Bengals second and third leading scorers, respectively, only tallied a combined five points.

Only the top scorers for Fredonia were able to blemish the Lakers’ defense. During their game on March 29, the Kleine sisters, Katie and Kristie, along with Marissa Cussins, scored nine of the Blue Devils’ 10 goals.

The Lakers’ defense will be challenged against The College at Brockport. The No. 18 Golden Eagles are scoring an average of almost 15 goals per game. Freshman attacker Kelly Wall is leading Brockport in overall scoring with 35 goals and 14 assists, which adds up to 49 points. Senior midfielder Emily Zartman is the Golden Eagles’ leading goal-scorer, having posted 35 goals on the season.

The Golden Eagles have two 40-point scorers, while the Lakers do not have one. Shattuck leads Oswego State with 38. Brockport also has five players with over 25 points. Only Shattuck and Gabriel for the Lakers have more than 25 points.

Despite their national rank, Brockport’s season has been shaky at times. This is mostly due to their inconsistent  defense, which gives up an average of 11.5 goals per game.

Because of this, they are 8-4 overall but only 2-3 in the conference and sit in fifth place in the SUNYAC, holding the final spot in the conference tournament.

The Golden Eagles’ first conference loss was against Oneonta on March 29. Three days later, on April 1, they dropped a 16-14 decision to Buffalo State. They added a loss to currently undefeated Cortland for their third conference loss. Brockport’s only wins in conference play came against the bottom two teams Potsdam and New Paltz.

For Oswego State to win, the Lakers will need to get scoring from players outside of Shattuck, while continuing to play strong defense in front of Greco. The game is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at the South Athletic Field near Laker Hall.