PEPPER PIKE, Ohio—The Franciscan University women's lacrosse team dominated possession and achieved several personal goals in a close game to division II Ursuline College, falling behind only in the second half to lose with a final score of 11-8.
Sophomore midfielder Lauren Noce and attack Tracy McClelland began the game with two goals for Franciscan in the first eight minutes of the game. Though Ursuline responded with two goals of their own to tie it up, FUS stayed strong, gaining the upper-hand several times throughout the first half.
Things went well for the Lady Barons until the final two minutes of the half when the Arrows put two more shots in the net to pull ahead by two, adding another two to the scoreboard in the beginning of the second half to lead the score 10-6.
Despite an offensive response from the Lady Barons and two more goals, they were unable to close the gap completely. Head coach Maura Conant said that the team struggled to find the perfect shot opportunities.
"We had two less shots than them and I think the difference was the placement of our shots," Conant said. "We're reaching some of the goals we set for ourselves, but sometimes we focus on one thing a lot and let other things go a little bit. I think that's the nature of a young team."
The Lady Barons main focus throughout the season has been increasing possession opportunities. They demonstrated vast improvement in this area by dominating ground balls, fielding 18 to Ursuline's 12, and decreasing turnovers, with a mere three to Ursuline's 14.
"We wanted fewer than 20 turnovers," Conant said. "So our performance was really good."
FUS also achieved its benchmark of 15 shots in the first half, shooting 16.
McClelland and Noce each contributed two goals, while midfielder Shannon Root, attack/midfielder Lindsay Matthys, attack Anna Gagnet, and team captain Margaret Gargulinski made up the other four, three of which were assisted.
"I was really pleased with our three assists," Conant said. "When you assist it means that you're really moving the ball around well. "
The Lady Barons functioned as a team on the defensive end as well, with freshmen Catherine Cahill and Christine Rice causing two and three turnovers apiece and fielding four and two groundballs respectively.
Conant noted that as the season draws to a close, players are becoming more comfortable with their roles on the team.
"That's what you really want to see, because it means that everybody is contributing and really working as a team," Conant said, adding, "We're improving, bit by bit, little by little. We just have to take the small victories and keep moving forward."
With just three remaining practices, the team is preparing to continue to drive home the fundamentals of the game and stay positive in preparation for their season finale, a home game against Waynesburg University at 5pm on April 22nd.
"We set goals for ourselves and try to go out there and play excellent lacrosse,'" Conant said. "Mistakes are going to happen, but we just need to focus on our game and play well in the hopes of building on the foundation of this season."