The Oswego State women’s lacrosse team moved into a tie for fourth place in the SUNYAC standings with a 15-9 win over SUNY Potsdam on Tuesday.
Led by the stellar play of junior goalkeeper Nikki Greco, the Lakers were able to withstand Potsdam’s 11 free position shots and hold the Bears’ attack line to just three goals. According to Greco, her aggressive style of play is what allowed them to disrupt the Bears’ rhythm on offense.
“Attacks aren’t used to having the opposing goalie come out (of the net), so I really feel that was a huge factor to slowing them down,” Greco said.
Oswego State got off to a quick start in the first half, opening up a 6-1 lead within the first 10 minutes of game play, with three of those goals coming off free position attempts. The Lakers were able to keep Potsdam scoreless for 15 minutes before the Bears finally added another goal, but the Lakers continued to have an answer throughout the half and took an 11-4 lead into halftime.
Coming into Tuesday’s game, Potsdam had given up the most goals of any SUNYAC team this season. Oswego State head coach Brandi Lusk had her team well organized in order to take advantage of the Bears’ defense.
“Our offense was very balanced and composed,” Lusk said. “We knew that they ran three different types of defenses and we prepared for all of them.”
The second half began with a momentum swing in Potsdam’s favor, as the team scored three straight goals to bring them within four of the lead. However, Greco was able to stop the Bears’ streak with a huge free position save, and the Lakers never looked back. The two teams exchanged a few goals as the half progressed, but Oswego State never gave up its lead. It sealed the victory with junior Corrine Marsh’s third goal of the game, which came while Potsdam was a player down.
One of the key factors in the Lakers’ victory was their ability to stop the Bears’ attack line, which has done the majority of their scoring this season.
“We really did our homework and we knew we had to stop No. 18 (sophomore midfielder Margaret Wall) from driving up top and No. 25 (senior attacker Denise Johns) from rolling the crease,” Lusk said. “We worked on it in practice and the defense did an outstanding job.”
Although the Lakers hard work paid off for them on defense, they still gave up 11 free position shots, forcing them to rely on Greco, as they have all season long.
“I feel I was able to be successful on the free position shots because I was able to cut their angles down,” Greco said. “It’s also easier to guess where a girl is aiming on those shots too, rather than them coming in guns blazing.”
Oswego State will face Clarkson at home on Thursday, followed by three straight games against SUNYAC opponents. While the Lakers have surpassed their win total from last season, their goal is to reach the conference playoffs. They will need to continue working hard and remain composed in order to make it there.
“We still have some very tough games, and the team needs to stay strong and keep working hard.” Lusk said. “I think we are making good decisions right now as a team on the field and if that keeps up we should continue to do well and finish well in our conference.”