Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
With two wins at home over the weekend, the Duquesne women’s lacrosse team improved their record to 7-6 after topping the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 15-8 on Friday before grinding out a 10-8 victory over the La Salle Explorers on Sunday.
Although SJU matched Duquesne’s 25 shots on Friday afternoon at Rooney Field, they weren’t as successful at finding the back of the net. Sophomore midfielder Kaelin Shaw led the Dukes in scoring with four goals on Friday, three of which came within four minutes apart of another. Senior midfielder Clare Hurley and sophomore midfielder Tess Drotar each had hat tricks against the Hawks.
Hurley said she is thankful for Shaw’s contribution to the team and is confident in her role as a leading scorer.
“It’s really nice to have an attacker who I and the whole team has faith and trust in, and she’s proving that consistently each game, so it’s really good to have her down there for us,” Hurley said.
The Dukes earned their fourth consecutive win in Sunday’s contest against La Salle. Hurley had her second hat trick of the weekend, and Shaw scored twice. Both teams racked up fouls, with Duquesne allowing seven free-position shots, and giving up six of their own. The Red & Blue were able to capitalize on four of those six opportunities. The Dukes were prepared for La Salle’s strong effort, according to Shaw.
“Thankfully our coach let us know what to expect and knew that they were going to try to throw things around and change things up on us,” Shaw said. “We were able to come out confident on top of them.”
The Red & Blue scored four goals before La Salle could answer with a shot from the free-position 10 minutes into the first half. The Explorers went on to record another three points, bringing them to a one goal deficit and a score of 4-3. Hurley tallied two of her three goals within the first eight minutes of the game. The majority of the Duke’s shots came in the first half, with 14 out of the 19 total. By the end of the first half, Duquesne had a three goal advantage over La Salle with a score of 8-5.
La Salle opened the second half with two goals, but Duquesne controlled the ball for the remainder of the game, preventing La Salle from taking the lead. The Dukes scored only two goals in the second half, both within the last six minutes of the game. A goal by La Salle brought the game to a difference of one with under five to go, before Hurley knotted an insurance goal with 1:54 left.
“I was there and the goalie was out of the cage, and I’m fast,” said Hurley. “I heard my coach saying, ‘you’ve got to attack,’ so I was just going full force.”
The effort from junior goalkeeper Jenna Bishop was key to the Dukes’ win. Four of her six saves were made in the second half when La Salle outshot Duquesne 11-5. Bishop attributes her success in the cage to her strong mentality as well as support from her defensive players.
“I have that mentality that if they do score on me, I’m better than that, whether it was a good shot or a horrible shot, I just worry about the next one,” Bishop said. “My team supports me, they believe in me, and I believe in myself. They always have my back and I have theirs.”
Coach Mike Scerbo said he looks forward to the upcoming A-10 Tournament, especially considering the way in which his team is playing.
“We’re doing what we were hoping to do, which is playing our best lacrosse in April, being able to peak and just finding our stride here so we get ready for the home stretch, the last four conference games and then the playoffs after that,” Scerbo said. “The prospects for the future and the upcoming weeks are very bright.”
Up next the Dukes will compete in A-10 conference games against George Washington on April 17 and Richmond on April 19 before returning home for another A-10 game against Davidson on April 24 at 3 p.m.