Both the Drexel and St. Joseph’s women’s lacrosse teams stumbled in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
At LaValle Stadium in Long Island, N.Y., Drexel (12-8) fell to No. 8 Stony Brook (15-2), 16-4, while St. Joseph’s (14-7) lost to Rutgers (16-4), 17-10, in the second game of the doubleheader.
Both teams punched their tickets to the national tournament by winning their respective conference titles: Drexel in the Colonial Athletic Association and St. Joe’s in the Atlantic 10.
The St. Joe’s game got off to a slow start, but as soon as the Hawks got accustomed to the tournament, they played toe-to-toe with Rutgers.
After upsetting both Richmond and Massachusetts in the A-10 tournament, St. Joe’s advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program’s history. It took the team 15 minutes to lose their jitters, but they got
After 15 minutes, Rutgers led, 8-1, but the But, as any St. Joe’s fan knows, the Hawk will never die Hawks scored five goals in the second quarter to narrow the Scarlet Knights’ lead to six going into the half.
“Despite getting behind in that first quarter, they really dug deep and connected.”
For Drexel, highlights were hard to come by against Stony Brook. The Dragons did score twice within 45 seconds to tighten the deficit to three goals in the second quarter.
Hope was rekindled at the end of the second quarter when Drexel scored twice in the span of 45 seconds to tighten the deficit to three goals.
At the half, the Dragons went 8-for-13 at the draw, but committed 11 turnovers. Although both goalies made four saves in the first 30 minutes, Stony Brook owned a 7-4 advantage.
“We had to have constant communication that we need to take care of the ball and possessions,” said Drexel captain Lucy Schneidereith.
Drexel didn’t rattle the cage for the remainder of the game. A 9-0 run from Stony Brook placed an exclamation mark on its victory.
Last week, the Dragons secured their first-ever CAA title as they outlasted Towson in overtime, 11-10. Friday marked Drexel’s second straight NCAA Tournament, a first for the program.
Stony Brook has the best scoring defense in the country, allowing an average of 6.69 goals per game. The 12-goal deficit is the Dragon’s largest margin of defeat since a 15-2 loss to James Madison in 2018.
Even though it wasn’t the ending Drexel wanted, the team enjoyed a record season. In Kim Hiller’s first year at the helm of the Dragons’ program, the team brought home the CAA trophy and its first-ever automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
“Once you get to playoff season, there’s really only one team that ends up going home happy,” Drexel assistant coach Katie O’Donnell said.
Drexel and Stony Brook will see a lot of each other next season since the Seawolves will move from the America East Conference to the CAA.
“[Stony Brook is] one of the top-five powerhouses in the country and a great team and great competition,” O’Donnell said. “I think that only helps our competition in the long run. It’s always going to be a challenge to face them … but we’re going to be ready for it because we have to be.”
Stony Brook will host Rutgers in the second round on Sunday at noon.