David Borne | Sports Editor
Feb. 13, 20120
Wednesday afternoon’s lacrosse home opener wasn’t gorgeous in any sense. Snow, sleet and rain led to a sloppy game. Both the Dukes and Canisius turned the ball over 26 times, respectively.
Despite Duquesne’s struggles to set up solid scoring opportunities, the Dukes grinded out a 11-10 win to grab their first victory of the season.
“We held it together long enough that we were able to pull off a win,” Dukes Head Coach Corinne Desrosiers said. “We really needed this win to right the ship from Ohio State, where I thought we played well at but made too many unforced errors. Today, we played a much more aggressive team. They made us work for it more than Ohio State did and it was hard for [her team] to regain their composure.”
“We have a lot of work to do at practice,” Desrosiers added. “But I think it does speak to the resilience of a young team to be able to stay in the game even when the other team is not stopping. It
was a hard fought game, and we still came away with it. I was very proud of them for that.”
Duquesne held a 10-7 lead halfway through the second half, but Canisius did not go away. The Golden Griffins’ pesky defensive efforts held Duquesne at bay, and they managed to slowly climb back into the game.
Canisius attacker Katie Smolensky potted a shot with just over a minute to play to bring her team within one.
The Golden Griffins then had a chance to tie the game as time ticked away, but the Dukes forced a turnover and held on for the victory.
Even though her team pulled out a positive result in the end, Desrosiers acknowledged that her team has plenty of room to improve. She’s happy with the win, but hopes the game can be used as
a learning and growing experience more than anything.
“Hopefully it means that we’re going to get smarter each game-day,” Desrosiers said. “That’s really all I’m trying to do with this season. I know they’re athletic, I know we can run, I know they all
have sticks. But it’s getting on the same page, it’s being cohesive and it’s understanding what’s in front of us in order for us to be successful.”
Duquesne’s 11 goals came off the sticks of six different players. In total, the Dukes sent 22 shots on goal on Wednesday.
Mady Hart led the way for Duquesne on the scoring end in the win. The senior finished with a game-high five goals, after being held scoreless in the first game of the season.
“We needed her on Friday and she didn’t have a good game, so she came back today really looking to help her team out,” Desrosiers said. “You can always count on her on the draw, her shots were there, she’s just a really good player for us. She’s our best two-way player. When we need her, it’s good to know that we have her.”
The Dukes will take a day off from practice on Thursday and spend their time reviewing game footage. Come Friday morning, they’ll head back to work to prepare for next Wednesday’s game
at Penn State.
Their focus in practice will be dedicated to getting to that level of cohesion Desrosiers knows they need to find success this season.
The head coach knows she has a talented bunch in front of her. Once that chemistry forms and the Dukes’ attack really opens up, they’re going to give opposing teams a lot of trouble.
“I think we’re all really excited to get back out on Friday to try to just be smarter,” Desrosiers said. “We play really hard, we outrun a lot of teams, we have good sticks, but if you’re not
smart it doesn’t matter.”