Comeback puts lax in the win column

Brentaro Yamane | Multimedia Editor | Corinne Webb has five goals in two games so far.

Rebecca Jozwiak | Staff Writer

Mackenzie Leszczynski and Corinne Webb both enjoyed four-goal games as the Duquesne Dukes climbed from a four-goal deficit to defeat Eastern Michigan 16-13 in their home opener on Thursday. This marks the first win of the season for the Dukes, after dropping their season opener to Pitt.

Leszczynski scored the first goal of the game; shortly afterwards, Kelsea Dague of Eastern Michigan tied the game up at one, before teammate Mackenzie Blackwell scored the next two goals in the quarter.

Eastern Michigan player Kyleigh Dill scored two goals in one minute to kick off the beginning of the second quarter. At that point in the game, the Dukes trailed the Eagles 6-2, prompting Duquesne Head Coach Corinne Desrosiers to call a timeout for her team.

“That was my angry timeout,” Desrosiers chuckled. “I called them in and I told them that it wasn’t good enough. We weren’t playing Duquesne lacrosse, and my expectation was a lot higher.”

The huddle seemed to breath life into the team, as the Dukes scored three rapid-fire goals in the next five minutes of the game, thanks to Webb, Emma Raines and Leszczynski.

“I just needed to rally them a little bit,” Desrosiers said. “We were playing on our heels on defense. We were just waiting for them to make mistakes, and that’s just not how division one lacrosse can be played.”

Eastern Michigan program is in its third season of existence, and the Eagles’ are awfully young: 37 out of 40 players are underclassmen.

“These [Eastern Michigan] are trap teams,” Desrosiers said. “They are freshman and sophomores with a couple transfers. When you don’t have an expectation on what you need to do in a season to quantify success, you are dangerous. When you don’t care and you’re not afraid of losing, you can do anything to win.”

Desrosiers referenced the Eagle’s strategy powerhouse Notre Dame.

“They put in six, they were unafraid, they pressured out, they pressured behind on the Fighting Irish,” Desrosiers said. “They got some really nice inside looks for goals.”

Though the team is young, Desrosiers anticipated a fight in order to come out with a win against the Eagles.

“At no point did I tell this Duquesne team, ‘this is going to be a walk for you,’” she said.

Regardless of the ebbs and flows that the Dukes faced earlier in the game, the win was a team effort that saw eight Dukes score goals. Webb and Leszczynski had four goals each. Webb, a redshirt sophomore, was sidelined the entirety of last season due to an ACL tear.

“We’re really, really proud of Corinne. It’s hard and [the] ACL is a big mental injury. It’s a weird thing to say, but I don’t think she would be as explosive right now to start her junior year if she didn’t have that injury,” Desrosiers said. “She was able to sit and watch an entire season– a really hard season, and she got really smart over the course of the year.”

Webb has bounced back in the Dukes first two games of the season, as she scored the team’s opening goal on Friday against the Panthers.

Leszczynski also contributed one assist to the game. Leszczynski, who made the A-10 Second Team as a midfielder, is now an upperclassman, giving her more responsibility within the team’s dynamic.

“She puts a lot of expectations on herself,” Desrosiers said. “I think for her to come back from a really hard game [at Pitt] where she wasn’t able to get much done and then show up, start feeling her dodge and feeling her shots again was really, really good for her.”

The Dukes look to break above .500 this Thursday against Youngstown State. Afterward, the Dukes wrap up their three-game homestand on Saturday when they celebrate Senior Day against Detroit Mercy.