BETHANY, W Va. – Lady Baron lacrosse put in a valiant effort against the University of Mount Union, improving on the previous season's performance against the Purple Raiders with a 22-3 loss. In its last meeting with Mount Union, Franciscan lost 21-0 as part of their inaugural season.
"We were much more competitive this year," head coach Maura Conant said about her team's improvement. "Last year when we played them, we never settled the ball. This year we did settle it."
Conant said that the problem came into play once her Lady Baron's did try to settle the ball. While FUS was able force the Purple Raiders into some turnovers and also gave their offense chances to possess the ball, turnovers often negated those positive plays.
"When we did settle the ball this time, we panicked. We had a lot of unnecessary turnovers," Conant said. "That's just something we need to get used to as a young team."
During the possessions where Franciscan took care of the ball, their offense showed an ability to create good offensive looks. Sophomore attack Tracy McClelland led Franciscan in scoring with 2 goals, including one off of a quick dodge from behind the cage to score with about a minute left in the game.
Fellow attacker, junior Meg Gargullinski and sophomore midfielder Lauran Noce were also able to get a hand-full of good finishing chances and Noce was able to score on one early in the first half.
"What we want to see is just them making good decisions under pressure like that," Conant said. "We have to be forming good habits right now."
Franciscan did make better decisions in the second half, with just four of their 17 turnovers coming in the final 30 minutes and a clearing percentage of over 50 percent.
In the first half, the Lady Baron's freshman goalkeeper Savannah Ruhe stood strong in the face of a barrage of one-on-one looks for Mount Union. Ruhe finished with seven saves including a series of shots from right in front of the crease in the first half.
"Its tough to have that many shots against and she definitely played a good game," Conanat said. "I was really pleased with how she did."
FUS will continue work on protecting the ball as the travel to Medaille College on Sunday March 23 at 1 p.m.