With the women’s lacrosse team in the midst of a 12-minute scoring drought and trailing for the first time in today’s game against Stevens Institute of Technology, junior attack Tracy Rivas cut into the opposing defense, dodged two defenders and scored on a low shot past Ducks’ junior goalkeeper Meg Collins to tie the game. She scored an unassisted goal 10 minutes later give the Bombers the lead for good.
Rivas’ back-to-back goals and six minutes of possession to end the game propelled the Bombers to upset 12th-ranked Stevens by a score of 8-7 to open Empire 8 Conference play with a bang. The Bombers had lost the past two Empire 8 Championship matches to the Ducks. Today’s match was the third straight meeting between the two teams that was decided by one goal.
Junior goalkeeper Jess Worthman said the game had been circled on the Bombers’ calenders all year.
“We’ve been looking forward to this game since last year,” she said. “We lost to them three times in a row, so its nice to get a win.”
The Bombers opened up a 4-1 lead to begin the game, but Stevens came back to tie the game 5-5 after the first half. The Bombers nearly took the lead before the break, but a shot from sophomore attack Becky Guzzo hit the crossbar and the referees ruled the ball did not cross the goal line.
Guzzo found the back of the net to open up the second half, but Stevens scored the next two goals to take their first and only lead with 16:01 remaining. Rivas scored at 11:57 to tie the game, then netted the winner with 6:11 remaining in regulation.
Stevens Head Coach Celine Cunninghamsaid Rivas’ speed helped her score both goals.
“Tracy Rivas is an unbelievably fast player,” she said. “When things got tough, she got the ball and she finished.”
Senior attack Nicole Borisenok said the South Hill squad focused on making sure Rivas was open throughout the game.
“Tracy is a key player on the field, but other teams also notice that,” she said. “We had to work and set picks to make sure she was open.”
The two teams combined for only five goals in the second half. The Bombers’ eight goals were their second lowest total of the year, and the Ducks seven goals was their lowest of the season so far.
Cunningham said both teams maintained control of the ball well.
“It was really a game of possession, and that’s why it was such a low scoring game,” she said. “They possessed the ball at the end and we couldn’t get it back.”
The Bombers allowed their lowest scoring total of the season. Worthman, whose nine saves were a season high, said the Blue and Gold’s defense prevented Stevens from taking shots from right in front of the goal.
“The defense held them to low angles so I could go for the save,” she said.
After Rivas’ second goal, she won the ensuing draw and the Bombers held onto possession for the remaining six minutes of the game. Worthman said the Bombers have not had such a long offensive possession in a long time.
“I don’t think we’ve ever done a stall like that before,” she said. “Everything was working in our favor today.”