Women's lacrosse wins fourth straight behind second-half shutout
A second-half shutout propelled the women’s lacrosse team to a 17-7 victory over Quinnipiac University on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 26, at James M. Shuart Stadium. The team has now won four games in a row.
“I think our team showed a lot of mental toughness out on the field,” said Hofstra head coach Shannon Smith. “We settled in a little bit and corrected some of our errors on the defense.”
Junior Alyssa Parrella led all scorers with six goals. Tuesday marked her fourth hat trick through five games of the young season.
“She played with a lot of confidence and was very poised on the field,” Smith said. “One thing we’ve been really stressing is having high shooting percentage and I thought [Parrella] did a really good job.”
Sophomore Katie Whelan had a hat trick of her own, recording three goals in the win. All three of Whelan’s goals came in the second half.
“I wasn’t making my shots in the first half,” Whelan said. “I kept telling myself, ‘They’re eventually going to fall.’ So I kept shooting.”
In the cage, freshman Jess Smith recorded 13 saves for the Pride, seven during the second half shutout.
Quinnipiac (2-3) got off to a hot start, scoring the first three goals of the game, before junior Darcie Smith netted the Pride’s first goal of the afternoon about 10 minutes into the contest.
The Pride (4-1) used a 3-0 run, two of the goals coming from Parrella, to tie the game up at four.
For the remainder of the first half, the game was back and forth between the two teams before Quinnipiac’s Megan Szawlowski scored with under three minutes left to bring the Bobcats within one. When the horn buzzed after the first half, Hofstra held onto a slim 8-7 lead.
Szawlowski’s goal at the end of the first half was the last goal Quinnipiac would score all night.
“[The defense was] in lockdown mode. 100 percent,” Smith said. “They were really locked in. We just need our defense to play like that in the first half.”
While the defense was dominating on the back end, Hofstra’s offense was clicking on all cylinders as they put up nine goals in the second half.
“We knew that we had the skills and the mindset to win this game,” Parrella said. “We just came out there as strong as we [could] and started putting balls in the back of the net.”
“We just came out of the locker room knowing we had full control of the game,” Whelan said. “We just needed to get the ball on the offensive side of the field.”
The Pride won the draw control battle 18-7, including eight of nine in the second half.
“Once we were able to get the possessions and finish our shots ... we weren’t stopping,” Parrella said.
Hofstra is now 7-0 all-time against the Bobcats.
Three of the four games during Hofstra’s winning streak have been double-digit victories. The other was their nine-goal win over Fairfield.
“We really have such a great group of girls in that locker room,” Smith said. “They are just really, fully buying in. Once we got that first win, second win – people’s confidence grew.”
“We are staying level-headed,” Parrella said. “We’re not getting too ahead of ourselves. We’re looking at one game at a time.”
The next game they will be looking at is their matchup against No. 2 University of Maryland on Saturday, March 2, at James M. Shuart Stadium at 12 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Hofstra Athletics