By George Tatoris
Their lances were dull, their shields were feeble and their armor was no match for a set of Lions incisors.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights (0-3) lacrosse team were not equipped to handle the pack of Lions (2-0) that devastated them, 12-1, on Saturday, March 5.
Though Fairleigh Dickinson is unranked, the win will still be important in the post-season because the Knights are in the same region, according to sophomore defender Elizabeth Morrison.
The first bite marks appeared just three minutes in when sophomore attacker Emily Kratz landed the Lions’s first goal while another came just 27 seconds later from freshman midfielder Erin Harvey, who scored off an assist from graduate student midfielder Erin Waller.
Harvey put on a strong showing in her second collegiate game — all three shots made it in the goal.
Senior attacker Cortney Natalicchio’s hat trick helped the Lions end the half with a strong 7-0 lead against the Knights. Natalicchio led the Lions offense, ending the game with four goals and an assist that gave freshman midfielder Abby Flagler her first collegiate goal.
The second of Natalicchio’s goals was off an assist from sophomore attacker Amanda Muller.
Waller and senior midfielder Megan Devlin both netted one goal each, bringing the total goals to 12.
Devlin attributed the win to the team’s “cohesion.”
“Everyone had each other’s backs and if a mistake was made, everyone worked hard to make up for it and create something positive,” Devlin said. “Our defense and attack fed off of each other’s energy.”
While the team strived on offense, the defense also performed strongly, as well.
Morrison made herself known on both sides of the field — not only did she pick up 11 ground balls over the course of the game, she also scored a goal in the second half.
“As a defender, I don’t like shooting, but I know that if I do what my coach tells me — fake high shoot low — that I will be successful,” Morrison said.
The same tactic earned her a goal against the State University of New York at Fredonia last Saturday, too.
Freshman goalkeeper Miranda Chrone only let the ball pass by her once the entire game and registered a save early in the match.
“It was their first shot of the game so I knew it was pretty important, especially since we were only up by two at that point,” Chrone said.
Chrone says the win came from the team’s week of training.
“We had a lot of time to go over the mistakes from last game and make ourselves better — we spent a lot of time scrimmaging to get ready for live play,” Chrone said.
That training was especially important because the team is playing with several new rules for the league that have only been in action for one game so far.
Players are now allowed to kick the ball, self-start after a penalty and have more than one defender in the crease.
“Overall, the changes have not been too difficult to adapt to,” Devlin said. “Especially with practice and time (the rules) will become more natural.”
Though the fifth-ranked Lions were expected to win against the unranked Knights, Morrison said the team approached the game like any other.
“I try to go into every game without expectations,” Morrison said. “When you think too far ahead, you forget what’s important and lose focus. With every game, you should have the same mentality — that you need to play your best and respect your opponent.”