STUBENVILLE, Ohio – Lady Baron lacrosse lost a heartbreaking game in the final two minutes against Hilbert College, as Franciscan fell 9-8.
The Lady Barons never trailed the Lady Hawks until Hilbert scored with two and a half minutes left. Franciscan quickly gained possession of the ball and had a number of chances to even the score but the ball never found its way into the back of the net.
“We resorted to desperate play there,” head coach Maura Conant said about her young, first-year program reacted in their first close game. “With inexperience sometimes smart play gets thrown out the window.”
While Franciscan wasn’t able to closeout the game in the final minutes, their play was much improved for most of the game in comparison to some of their previous matches.
The Lady Baron’s dominated the ground balls, grabbing 12 to Hilbert’s four, and went a perfect 12 for 12 on their clears. The team also showed a patient and efficient offensive attack for most of the game, including a beautiful assist from midfielder Shannon Root to Anna Ortiz late in the first half.
“Well our passes have been a lot better,” said Conant who has been trying to get more girls involved in the team’s offensive output.
The team’s attack was as balanced as it’s been all season. With the Lady Hawks centering their attention on Lauren Noce, the team’s leading scorer, Franciscan was able to find other ways of scoring. Noce, as well as attack Tracy McClelland and Meg Gargulinski each finished with two goals apiece, while midfielder Root and Ortiz each added a goal of their own.
Conant said that while the loss was frustrating that it’s all part of the process of building a first year program.
“Our offense put up and good fight, and so did our defense,” Conant said. “We’re still growing.”