The women’s lacrosse team remained unbeaten in Empire 8 play with a 19–10 thumping of Utica College in its home opener Wednesday at Carp Wood Field.
Ithaca never trailed in the game, opening up with a seven-goal run that included two goals by freshman midfielder Michelle Avery. The Bombers scored the highest number of goals since their 19–8 win over Hartwick College toward the end of last season. Junior midfielder Katie Hurley finished with a career high eight points.
Head Coach Karen Hollands stressed the importance of patience early in the game, having her players wait behind the net for the play to develop and not force shots on goal.
“Utica can exploit you on the break if you let them, so we wanted to manage the clock and take time to find the shots we wanted,” she said.
Senior attack Kylie McClure, who finished the game with three goals and an assist, said quick passing led to the early scoring barrage.
“We were focused on ball movement around on the attack, getting the shot we wanted and not trying to force anything,” she said.
The Bombers’ bench was particularly impressive, with freshman midfielder Tracy Rivas netting three goals and junior midfielder Rachel Maley chipping in with a score.
Junior defender Abby Peterson said this year’s team probably had the best bench out of the three seasons she’s played with them because they are so relentless.
“We were always looking to have that mentality of trying to get that extra step and keep pushing as the game went on,” she said.
Senior Courtney Dowell picked up the win in goal making six saves.
One of the biggest highlights of the Blue and Gold’s third straight win was that it came against a former Bomber. Utica Head Coach Kristin St. Hilaire was an assistant under Hollands from 2006 to 2007. She helped recruit the current senior class of Lauren Fitzgerald, Sarah Cox, Kassie Garfield, McClure and Dowell.
Hollands said that St. Hilaire’s return to Carp Wood Field added some extra motivation to win the game.
“It’s always a special day when you have one of your former assistants come back in that you don’t want to lose to them as a head coach,” she said.
The South Hill Squad will take on Stevens Institute of Technology at 1 p.m. Saturday at Carp Wood Field.