BUFFALO, N.Y.—Exactly one year after their 21-2 loss to Medaille College on home turf, the Lady Baron Lacrosse traveled to New York to battle the Mavericks again, this time keeping pace with the team to fall 9-7 only in the final six minutes.
"Today, the girls set the bar for how we want to play the rest of our games," head coach Maura Conant said. "They were poised, they played an intense game, and they were in it the whole 60 minutes."
The Lady Barons opened up the game with a goal from sophomore midfielder Lauren Noce. Though the Mavericks evened out the score and pulled ahead five minutes later, FUS kept the game within their reach, ending the half down by one.
Less than two minutes into the second half, sophomore attack Tracy McClelland tied the game at 5-5. The Lady Barons stayed neck and neck with Medaille, evening the score once again at seven points with nine minutes to go, but were unable to match the opposing team's final two goals.
Conant said the final score ultimately came down to the young FUS team's small mistakes regarding possessions. The Franciscan to Medaille ratio of ground balls was 16-22, while the turnover ratio was 22-14.
"I think those two stats were the difference in us not being able to pull off a win today," Conant said. "The biggest issue was possession and that's whole team thing."
Despite setbacks, the Lady Barons stayed focused in what proved to be both a physically and mentally challenging game.
"The other team was a very physical team and the girls did not allow that to get to them and disrupt their play. I'm so proud of them for that," Conant said, noting the second-year program's progression from game one, a 16-3 loss to Capital, to now.
"We played a similar team our first game and I have seen our mental strength grow 100 percent since then," Conant said. "Today, we were able to stay in it and play our game the Franciscan way: classy and with good sportsmanship."
Conant added that the Lady Barons not only played composed but also made their mark on the game with 13 for 13 defensive clears and good offensive position to attempt 14 shots on goal out of 18 total shots.
Freshman goalie Savannah Ruhe also played a successful game, keeping the Mavericks at bay with 12 saves.
Conant said that with three assists, the team showed better ability to communicate on the attack end.
"Honestly, the way the whole team played, it was so exciting. From goalie to high attackers, everybody played a really, really good game."
The Lady Barons look to take positives from this game to Baldwin Wallace on March 26th in hopes of scoring a win. The game will begin at 7:30pm.
"We just need time to work together as a team, work on skills, maturity," Conant said, "We were a very young team last year, and we'll continue to be for a while, but we're growing and we're committed to getting a little better each day, so we're going to see some results."