It was a tale of two games for the women’s lacrosse team at Carp Wood Field this weekend. The Bombers stretched their Empire 8 win streak to five with wins over No. 10 ranked Stevens Institute of Technology and rival Hartwick College.
The South Hill squad, down 10–6 early in the second half, resounded with a 7–1 run against Stevens to come out of Saturday’s matchup with a 13–11 win and sole possession of first place in the Empire 8. Their first-place ranking was maintained with a 22–3 pounding of Hartwick today.
Freshman midfielder Tracy Rivas scored three goals on the run against Stevens and finished the game with a career high five. Rivas said the will to win drove the team during the comeback.
“The whole team was pushing forward and we had that hunger to win and improve,” she said. “When we were behind I just had a gut feeling we would get back in it.”
The Ducks kicked off the second half by breaking a 6–6 tie with four goals in an eight-minute span. Stevens pulled the deficit back to one goal following the Ithaca run, but the Ithaca defense did not let a shot on goal for the remainder of the game.
Senior Courtney Dowell recorded her third straight win in goal, making seven saves and leading all players with seven ground balls.
Freshman attack Samantha Whitney summed up the win by saying that the momentum started on defense and added to the offensive attack.
“Our defense made some really good plays and that kind of fired up everyone else up too, allowing our offense to have great placement,” she said.
The win was the 100th career victory for Head Coach Karen Hollands.
Twenty-four hours later, the Blue and Gold found themselves on the winning end of a 22–3 blowout over Hartwick. It was the highest goal total by Ithaca since a 25–0 win in the 2007 season opener over Wells College and the largest margin of victory since a 21–1 win over Alfred in 2008.
Despite Hartwick’s winless conference record, Dowell said the Bombers did not take them lightly.
“We couldn’t put Hartwick into a category where it’s an automatic win because it has been a close game every year and they normally give us trouble,” she said. “We needed to do what we knew how to do and not play down to them.”
Dowell said the toughest part of the Hartwick game was switching gears from facing a lot of shots to watching most of the action take place in the opponent’s zone.
“On defense it was really slow-paced, so while I wasn’t facing shot after shot I had to keep myself internally motivated,” she said.
Freshman Jess Worthman played most of the second half in goal, picking up a pair of saves in a scoreless 23 minutes of play.
Ithaca had no problem keeping up the intensity and emotion from the victory over Stevens the day before, crashing the net against the confused one-on-one defense that Hartwick played throughout the game. They continued to display tremendous versatility in scoring off the bench, as sophomore attack Racquel Lividini scored five goals, while senior midfielder Lauren Fitzgerald, sophomore attack Nicole Borisenok, Rivas and Whitney all had hat tricks.
Borisenok said scoring was contagious in the game and fresh legs were always ready to come into the game and contribute.
“Everyone on the sideline is always ready to go in and make an impact,” she said. “We have confidence in each other that anyone can get the job done.”
Whitney said that Lividini’s low shot allowed for more scoring opportunities for her and more ground ball opportunities for the team in the victory.
Hollands said she was happy with the rapid execution of the plays and hopes it continues.
“We have to practice hard and just continue to execute on the pressure,” she said. “We’ve been down in three close games and come back and won so it was exciting to see them execute so well.”