LOWELL, Mass. – Although the UMass Lowell women’s lacrosse team (0-1) erased a five-goal, second half deficit, the team’s comeback was spoiled, as Dartmouth (1-0) earned an 11-9 victory in the River Hawks season opener.
After trailing 8-3 for 32 minutes of play, UMass Lowell tallied four consecutive goals to cut the score to 8-7 with 20:44 left in the contest. After a Dartmouth goal and back-to-back goals by sophomores Jane Dudley (Duxbury, Mass.) and Kristina Keith (East Kingston, N.H.), the River Hawks were able to knot the score, 9-9, with 12 minutes to play. With time winding down, the Big Green’s Courtney Weisse, who notched a game-high five goals, and Elizabeth Mastrio netted two late pivotal scores to help secure the 11-9 outcome.
“I am very pleased with today,” said Head Coach Carissa Medeiros. “This is a great season opener for us, and the best season opener we have had as a program. We opened up against Dartmouth last year, at Dartmouth, and that had a significantly different turnout. We focused on everything we said we were going to. We had goals of maintaining high energy and controlling the controllable and we did that. Also we managed the ball on offensive better than we ever had.”
Offensively, the River Hawks were led by Dudley and sophomore Kendyl Finelli (Southborough, Mass.) who posted a career high three goals and four assists, respectively. UMass Lowell matched a program best six assists in the contest, while seven players recorded points on the day.
The two teams traded goals early, as the scored was knotted 2-2 at 21:23 in the first. Dudley broke open the scoring for the season, tacking on the squads first goal just three minutes into the game.
After Dartmouth tied the score, 2-2, the visitors strung together a six-goal run, giving the Big Green their largest advantage of the game, 7-2. With nearly four seconds remaining in the first, sophomore Rebeca Idson (East Atlantic Beach, N.Y.) was able to get one back for the River Hawks as they trailed by four, 7-3, entering halftime.
UMass Lowell took control early in the second half, scoring four consecutive goals in the first ten minutes. Junior Taylor Sokol (Hopkinton, Mass) chipped in with two goals, before Dudley and Keith added a goal apiece, bringing their team within one, 8-7, with 20 minutes to play.
Dartmouth attempted to pull away, firing a free position goal past junior Courtney Barrett (South Burlington, Vt.) for a 9-7 differential, but failed to maintain its lead as the River Hawks evened the score once more with a pair of timely goals. Dudley and Keith provided their third and second goals, respectively, of the tilt to deadlock the contest, 9-9, with just over 10 minutes on the clock.
Down the stretch, UMass Lowell fought hard but the Big Green found a way to lace two more markers as they grinded out the 11-9 victory.
Barrett rejected 11 shots in the outing, while her counterparts combined for 10 saves in the bout.
UMass Lowell is back in action on Saturday, February 4 for a 1 p.m. matinee at instate foe Boston University.