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Women's lacrosse beats rival Rutgers, moves into Top-20

By Alana Pelosi, Sports Editor

This week the women's lacrosse team set out to prove their worth and did just that.   Rebounding from last week's tough loss at the University of Pennsylvania, the Pride picked up victories over Rutgers and cross-island rival Stony Brook.  

The Pride took on Rutgers in a physical, slip-and-slide match up that went into double overtime.  While the Pride scored the first goal of the game, the 1-0 score was the only lead the Pride held until the game's end.  The two teams were neck-and-neck for much of the first half but in the last six minutes of the half, Rutgers pulled ahead and increased their 4-3 lead to 7-3.

Before halftime, head coach Abby Morgan once again switched up the goalies by replacing senior Mary Cuddihy for sophomore Jackie Pandolf.  "Mary was not seeing the ball very well when she was in there and really not having the reaction that we needed from and her we said let's put Jackie in there." Morgan said.

Nineteen fouls were committed in the second half before Hofstra finally ended the scoreless stalemate and score 12 minutes in. The Pride continued to improve offensively in the second half and Pandolf was protected by her defense that held Rutgers to one goal in the second half. "Defensively, we tighten up a lot and I think the other thing was that we had more ball possession," said Morgan.

With under a minute remaining, the Pride tied the game 8-8 on a goal from senior Sandy Wasserbach to send the game into overtime.  In the first overtime Rutgers scored first but Hofstra senior attack Corrine Gandolfi tied the game back up and keep the Pride in the game and send it to double overtime.

Finally, the Pride broke through and won on a goal from freshman Jill Maier, earning their first one-goal victory of the season.  "They keep fighting and I think the reminder of how crappy it felt to lose by one goal was a real motivating factor for them."

On Wednesday, the Pride took on Stony Brook, a team that Hofstra has had success against in the past. This year proved no different, as the Pride earned a 17-7 victory after a back-and-forth first half.  With one minute to go before halftime, Gandolfi, who eventually ended the game with five goals, snapped the 4-4 tie.  In the second half, the Pride's offense continued to dominate, with goals from Maier, senior attack Liz Flaco and Gandolfi to increase the Pride's lead to 8-4. 

From that point on the Pride's offense continued to lead the way scoring another nine goals.  Sophomore Jackie Pandolf once again came in for Cuddihy in the second and only let in two goals while making five saves.

While Stony Brook had more ground balls in the second half, the Pride excelled in draw controls, earning fourteen in the second half. The Pride finished the game with five from Gandolfi and four from K'Leigh Vanaman.
Now 5-2 on the season, the Pride looks to increase their home win streak, when they the University of Oregon, on Monday at James M. Shuart Stadium.

Senior midfielder K'leigh Vanaman assisted freshman Jill Maier on the game winning goal as the Pride defeated Rutgers University on March 13. (Sean M. Gates/ The Chronicle)

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