Hawks get bounce back victory over Nor’easters in sloppy game

Andrew Wuebker, Sports Editor

The Roger Williams University women’s lacrosse team took to the turf at Bayside Field Saturday afternoon for a matchup with University of New England, coming away with a 19-12 triumph in a sloppy game.

The Hawks went into the afternoon seeking a bounce back victory after a loss vs. conference powerhouse Endicott College on Wednesday, April 4, while the Nor’easters also sought a win after a close home loss to Gordon College.

The game began with a goal from Hawks junior attacker Emily Stoeppel just over two minutes into the game, but back-to back goals by the Nor’easters at the 26:42 and 25:55 marks gave UNE the lead.

RWU freshman attacker Delana Erickson and Stoeppel took the lead back a few minutes later, but a goal by UNE with 20:29 left in the half knotted the score at 3.

The Hawks scored eight of the next nine goals in the half behind scores from senior middie Kaelin Hogan and freshmen attackers Devon Sarazin and Maeve Gillis. RWU took a 11-4 lead into halftime. Hogan had four of her five goals on the day during the stretch, while Sarazin had three of her five on the day in that stretch.

UNE proceeded to score four straight goals out of the gate to open the second half, but wasn’t enough as the Nor’easters couldn’t keep pace with the Hawks offense and fell by a final score of 19-12.

The game was plagued by some sloppy play from both teams, evidenced by a combined 67 turnovers. RWU’s 32 turnovers and inability to pass and catch the ball at times gave UNE more possessions and attack chances.

Hawks coach Jennifer Fox suggested that her group was mentally and physically exhausted from their matchup with Endicott earlier in the week, which led to the less than stellar lacrosse.

“I thought we played very sloppy,” Fox said. “We were in our own heads I think and to be honest, I think even traveled with us since the Endicott game. I think that loss and I think [in] the practice we had yesterday, I think it was just still in our heads. I think it obviously reflected in our play and we’ve been talking about mental toughness the last two or three days and I think that’s something that we all need to be aware of and overcome… Yes, a win’s a win. We got the W, but I just think that wasn’t our lacrosse out there and I think they knew that really well and it was contagious type of play that I did not like.”

With only four conference games left on the regular season slate and injuries piling up, Fox said that a break may be needed to set the team on the right track and playing at a high level again.

“I look back to our Endicott play and we’re not a conference champion yet. And yeah, I think we’re going through pain. We’re kind of going through a mental funk right now, but we need to grind it out and overcome that. I think if we can just mentally get back into it, then I think the rest will just take care of itself. I think it’s just a mental thing right now.”

The Hawks will have the day off Sunday and hit the practice field on Monday ahead of their road matchup with Curry College on Tuesday, April 10.