April 10, 2014

Lady Barons Stay Positive in Loss

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio—Two days after their loss to Walsh, Franciscan University Lady Barons refocused to play Thiel College on their home turf and made major mental improvements despite the 16-3 loss.

"We just had different attitudes out there, today," head coach Maura Conant said. "Our communication was much improved from our last game and the girls played as more of a team."

The Lady Barons had a slow start to the game, finishing the first half down 12-1. Possession and defensive clears seemed to elude the young team, making scoring opportunities scarce.

A fresh half, however, saw increased efforts on both defensive and offensive ends of the field as the Lady Barons fought to regain control of the game. Franciscan's drive helped them to field 10 ground balls to Thiel's 7, which gained possession time, while the defense limited Thiel's shot opportunities to 10 in comparison to the first half's 17 to slow the score.

"We made some adjustments at the half, which helped," Conant said, "And while, yes, Thiel got through us with the midfield transition, we definitely slowed them down and frustrated them."

Sophomore attack Tracy McClelland and midfield/attack Lauren Noce worked together to make the most of the team's possession time. McClelland score the first goal of the night, with an assist from Noce and then assisted Noce in a seamless quickstick shot to the net in the final six minutes of the game.

Another bright moment for the Lady Barons came two minutes later, when sophomore attack Anna Gagnet dodged her defender and sprinted in for her first goal of the season.

Other FUS standouts included sophomore midfield Shannon Root, sophomore attack Cara Egan, and junior defender Bethany Potvin.

"Cara Egan is very patient. She had a good game, "Conant said, adding, "Shannon has really good stick skills so she was able to get out of trouble in some areas."

Potvin fielded three ground balls, caused five turnovers, and achieved a 4-4 ratio of saves to goals allowed during her time as goalie in the second half.

Conant said that the team's main concern was focusing on the present moment.

"We said 'don't live in the past, don't live in the future, just focus on the task at hand and enjoy yourself and have a blast'," Conant said.

With the lessons learned from this game, Conant said the team is still looking forward to their final three games, the first beginning at Hilbert College, Saturday April 12, at 2pm.

"We've played all of the teams that shut us down last season," Conant said. "These next three games should be much more competitive for us."

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