By George Tatoris
A single point separated the College’s lacrosse team from the Cabrini College Cavaliers six minutes and 30 seconds into the first period. The Cavaliers had just answered the Lions’s goal with two of their own.
They were close to a third tally when freshman midfielder Erin Harvey caused a turnover in the Lions’s end zone during the game on Tuesday, March 29.
“We needed to stop any momentum they were gaining, and regain control of the game,” Harvey said. “Getting the back check was great because the attacker wasn’t expecting it, but I was really just happy that Emily Kratz was able to capitalize on the eight meter once we got down field.”
One minute, 11 seconds. That’s how long it took the Lions to move the ball from a Cavalier stick to the Cavaliers’s goal. After two fouls on Cabrini, sophomore attacker Emily Kratz scored on a free position shot. The game was tied.
The Lions went on to take home a 10-4 win.
“We came together as a team and worked on playing as one. The team played strong and worked well together,” senior midfielder/attacker Cortney Natalicchio said.
The Cavaliers were swift, like horseback riders. Only 11 seconds separated their first two goals.
In order to beat Cabrini, the Lions had to be cohesive. As Cabrini attacked the goal, the Lions’s defense would regain possession, then turn the ball over to the offense for a Lions goal.
“Once (Cabrini) got it out, they were a fast team and we had to work hard to slow them down and get the ball back,” sophomore defender Elizabeth Morrison said.
Ground balls were essential for this strategy to work — each one is a coin toss that could change the momentum of the game or keep the momentum going.
Morrison had six ground balls last Tuesday, the most of any player on the field — Lion or Cavalier — while freshman midfielder Kathleen Jaeger picked up four, the second most.
“The (ground balls) I had to fight for changed the momentum of the game by getting the ball into our attacking while stopping their advancement,” Morrison said.
By the end of the game, the Lions had 18 ground balls, almost twice as many as Cabrini’s 10.
Those ground balls helped the Lions maintain control of the ball and score.
Natalicchio led the offense with four goals and two assists. Kratz scored the first goal of the game and tied it up after the Cavaliers bombarded the goal early in the first period.
Less than 30 seconds into the second half, Kratz scored a third goal off an assist from Natalicchio, another example of teamwork displayed on the field by the Lions. The College had four assisted goals out of 10 overall — almost half — while the Cavaliers had only one.
The Lions are 8-1 on the season after Tuesday’s win. The team’s only loss this season came just last week at the hands of the top-ranked State University of New York at Cortland.
“It was a much needed win, it gave us our confidence back and just proved to ourselves that we are very capable of playing strong and together,” Natalicchio said.
Harvey said the Lions found their footing again after last week’s loss.
“We aren’t going to allow that previous loss to bring us down the rest of the season,” Harvey said. “We are learning from the mistakes made in that game and plan on playing even better than we were playing before.”