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Women's lacrosse takes charge of first two matchups

by Carson Werner - Sports Editor
Wed, Mar 6th 2019 02:00 pm
Senior attacker Heather Conklin runs through the tunnel of sticks before the matchup on Saturday, March 2 against Nazareth College. Conklin, stick high and amped up, played a big role in the win over the Golden Flyers. The Brockport women's attacking unit has scored 16 goals and contributed six assists in the team's first two games of the season.
Senior attacker Heather Conklin runs through the tunnel of sticks before the matchup on Saturday, March 2 against Nazareth College. Conklin, stick high and amped up, played a big role in the win over the Golden Flyers. The Brockport women's attacking unit has scored 16 goals and contributed six assists in the team's first two games of the season.
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Last season, it took The College at Brockport women’s lacrosse team nine games to earn its first two wins. The two seasons before that, it took the team seven and 12 games to earn its first loss. Judging from the first two games of the 2019 campaign, it seems as though the Golden Eagles are trying to make the 2018 season irrelevant to the expectations set for this year. 

Brockport faced the Nazareth Golden Flyers on home turf this past Saturday, March 2. Coming off a thrilling win over Denison University the week before, Brockport played Nazareth as if it was the same 25th ranked Big Red lining up on the other side of the field. The snowy morning and its frigid temperatures played no role in deflating Brockport’s will to win as the team cruised by Nazareth 13-7.

The score shows no resemblance of how close the match was in the first half. In the first ten minutes, six goals were exchanged, three from each side. Brockport’s tallies came from three different attackers as freshman Allison Jennings notched the first of her collegiate career 30 seconds in, and seniors Heather Conklin and Chloe Kurst scored their firsts of the game. In response to her first goal of the season, Jennings said it was what she needed to kick off her career as a Golden Eagle. 

“Scoring my first collegiate goal in the first 30 seconds gave me the confidence I needed to know that I could contribute to this team coming in as a freshman,” Jennings said. “It made me excited to fight for the rest of the game and earn an exciting victory with my team.”

The Golden Eagles would answer Nazareth’s two goals with three of their own in a four minute span, taking a 6-3 lead. Senior midfielder Hannah Cullen and senior attacker Sara Grapevine both contributed a goal in the contest, while Kurst added her second between her teammates’. Nazareth scored two more to shorten the deficit before the end of the half.

The second half is where Brockport proved which of the two golden birds were better. Taking over with seven goals and limiting the opposition to two, the Golden Eagles sent the Golden Flyers home with their second loss in three games. The Brockport seniors took over the game as Conklin, Kurst and midfielder Victoria Thompson each scored two goals. Senior midfielder Jade Williams added one as well.

Along with Jennings scoring her first collegiate goal, freshman goalie Morgan Elmer was credited with 16 saves, earning a win in her first start for Brockport. After goaltender Sarah Brown graduated following the 2018 season, Brockport had no one to take her position. This year, the team has brought in two new prospects to defend between the posts. Elmer is accompanied by freshman Julia Hoyser who earned her first win in the start against Denison. 

“It is very challenging to adjust to the collegiate play without the presence of an upperclassman goalkeeper,” Hoyser said. “If we had one, then there would be a lot of insight shared with Morgan and I, that could help us both. However, with the knowledge from my coach, we are getting that insight every practice.”

Unlike Elmer and Hoyser, the other seven freshman on the team, consisting of three defenders, two attackers and two midfielders, are fortunate enough to be supported and guided by the junior and senior players. Kurst, now entering her third season, is leading the team in points with five goals and two assists. In 15 games last year, she had 30 total points, splitting goals and assists with 15 each. Now as a junior, her experience and point contribution has never been valued more.

With the help of Kurst and several other veterans, the team is already showing improvement with its win over Nazareth, something it wasn’t able to do last year. The differences between the 2018 and 2019 rosters however, show no improvement or regression of the team’s potential.

“I feel that this year we came into the game more prepared and focused,” Kurst said. “Our team this year never gives up, even if we are down, and always give 100 percent. We also had a good week at practice and it transferred into the game.”

The Golden Eagle’s next matchup is against the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). It’s scheduled at Brockport for Wednesday, March 6 at 4 p.m. The RIT Tigers are 0—1 going into Wednesday’s game, losing 14-11 to William Smith College. Brockport has four games remaining until its first conference game.