Women’s lacrosse turns season around in SUNYAC

After a rough start to the season, the Oswego State Lakers women’s lacrosse team appears to have settled in during SUNYAC play.

The team started off 2-2 in their first four games before going on a three-game losing streak, including losing their first SUNYAC conference game 14-3 against the College at Brockport.

The turn-around game for the Lakers’ season came when they faced SUNY Oneonta, according to head coach Britt Howard.

“[SUNY] Oneonta, it really brought our team together,” Howard said. “Senior day, they came out with a fire under their butts and they just came out ready to play. Obviously the outcome was what we wanted, but I think they played hard and it definitely gave them the confidence they needed to continue on in the conference play.”

The victory over SUNY Oneonta put the Lakers at 2-1 in the SUNYAC conference. They kept that same spark as they went on to face SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Fredonia, winning both of those games as well.

Currently, the Lakers are 6-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play after their 13-4 loss Tuesday to SUNY Geneseo, placing them third in the SUNYAC standings. They sit behind the College at Brockport and SUNY Cortland in the standings, who are both 5-0 in conference.

Part of the change comes from attacker Teresa Shattuck and goalie Angela Ponto. Shattuck, a sophomore, took strides this offseason and has 69 points, more than twice as many as any other player on the team, totaling 20 goals and 49 assists. Last season Shattuck put up 79 points and is on pace to surpass that by the end of this season.

Howard described Shattuck as “always being in the right place at the right time,” and always helping her teammates on the field. Shattuck has been an inspiration to all her teammates, especially to fellow attackman Montana Garrett.

“I’ve heard a lot about how great of a player [Shattuck] was and then actually being on an offensive line with her, she’s assisted many of my goals so far and honestly I definitely look up to her as a freshman,” Garrett said.

Ponto, a junior, has started in every game this season and currently has the highest save percentage in the SUNYAC at 55.5 percent, which includes 131 saves.

“[Ponto] definitely gives us those second opportunities on defense with rebounds and then just getting our clears out,” Howard said. “She’s definitely a great player and she gives the defense a great leader.”

Looking ahead, the Lakers agree that the last few games will be their toughest since they are not at home. This season the team is 1-5 on the road, with the next two games being away, Shattuck believes that keeping the momentum on the road will be the toughest part because they are a better team at home, with a 5-1 record at Laker Turf Stadium.

The biggest thing the Lakers are looking to do is just take it “one game at a time”, especially on the road, Howard said.

With both Oswego State and SUNY Cortland losing multiple seniors from last season, midfielder Toni Laneve believes the Lakers brought back a strong core of players to compete this season.

“[SUNY] Cortland is number one and they lost a lot of good players and [Oswego State] lost a lot of good players, but we gained a lot of good players. I think we want to try to give them their hardest game,” Laneve said.

The Oswego State Lakers look to bounce back from their sluggish loss to SUNY Geneseo with a conference road matchup Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at SUNY Cortland.