Women’s lacrosse drops fourth straight in loss to SUNY Geneseo

Junior Esther Gabriel (left) scored two goals in the Lakers' 12-6 loss to SUNY Geneseo (Alexander Simone | The Oswegonian).
Sophomore Briana Kimble streaks up field against SUNY Geneseo’s Bridget Lincoln in the Lakers’ 12-6 loss to the Knights on Tuesday (Alexander Simone | The Oswegonian).

Sophomore Liz Felix potted four goals to pace No. 17 SUNY Geneseo in its 12-6 victory over Oswego State (4-7, 0-4 SUNYAC) on Tuesday at the Lakers’ South Athletic Field.

The Knights and Lakers traded goals throughout the first half. Oswego State cut the deficit to one with 7:24 left, but SUNY Geneseo responded quickly to climb back ahead by two at the break. It scored five of the next six goals to start the second half and did not look back.

SUNY Geneseo came out of the gates fast with opening up the scoring with Liz Felix one minute and 13 seconds into the game, junior Lindsey Eggers answered with one of her own to even it at one a piece. Felix would then score the next two goals in the game, to complete the hat trick just over 10 minutes into the game.

After another Knight goal, junior Esther Gabriel then found her way to the front of the net. With her back to the cage, she faked right, went left and beat SUNY Geneseo’s net-minder Claudia Coleates to make it a two-goal game. Gabriel scored again just over five minutes later to make it 4-3. At the end of the first 30 minutes, the score stood at 6-4 with SUNY Geneseo on top.

Junior Emily Lange scored the Lakers lone two goals in the second half, but it would be all for not as Oswego State was unable to compete in the second with the Knights as well as they did in the first.

Head coach Brandi Lusk said she felt like the team started off strong with the offense composed and the defense taking risks that were leading to positive results. The Lakers were competing well with a tough, nationally-ranked opponent as exhibited by their 9-8 advantage in shots and 7-4 edge in clears.

But then in the second half, as Lusk said, the Lakers fell flat. The Knights outshot the Lakers 15-7 in the period, while the Lakers committed 11 turnovers in the second alone.

Oswego State was competing outside on a non-turf field for the first time all season and Lusk believed the conditions might have worn the team down. Oswego State is also dealing with some injuries that led to it being slightly shorthanded when it came to subbing players in and out of the game.

Gabriel said consistency was the main problem for the Lakers as they played well through some parts, but lost focus at times, and that is where the game was lost.

Freshman goalie Angela Ponto, who made six saves, said the consistency was a problem on the defensive side as well. The sliding and the communication with one another was a little off. That is something she said they will need to work on going forward.

Another facet of the game where the Lakers were outmatched was draws. The Knights controlled 12 of 20 draws, which led straight to a couple of goals.

Lusk said that though she thought the team did well in grabbing ground balls off the faceoff, it just was not enough to go its way.

The Lakers are the only team in the conference that are still searching for their first SUNYAC win with half of conference play completed. Oswego State will need to turn things around if it wants to make the six-team playoff tournament.

Gabriel and Ponto both agreed that this is not the performance they wanted.  They look forward to focusing on little things in practice that need work so the team can play its best against upcoming opponents with the schedule winding down.

“Losing sparks it for us,” Ponto said. “We don’t like losing. I think this got us angry… teams better watch out, cause we’re coming.”

The Lakers next game is Saturday at 1 p.m. in at No. 5 SUNY Cortland.