Junior midfielder Erica Evans scored five goals and added an assist, as the Canisius women’s lacrosse program lost a tight 12-11 contest to Columbia Saturday afternoon from the Demske Sports Complex.
The Griffs first home game of the year began with the Blue and Gold jumping on the board first at 27:01, on a goal from Evans that was assisted by junior Jen Reininger.
The Lions answered quickly with a goal from Taylor Quinn at 25:55, tying the score 1-1. From there, the Golden Griffins would go on a 5-1 run over a 15:14 stretch, giving Canisius a 6-2 lead. In the span, the Griffs saw two goals from Evans, while senior Ashley Bull, sophomore Jourdan Roemer, and Reininger each tallied one goal. Columbia added a third goal at 5:59, from Victoria Kalamaras, to narrow the Canisius lead to 6-3 at the half.
Out of the halftime break the teams traded goals, giving Canisius a 7-4 lead at 27:47, with Evans netting her fourth of the contest. As the second half progressed, the Lions gained momentum, and a lead, by going on a 6-1 run over a stretch of 7:03 to give Columbia a 10-8 advantage. Evans would cut the Lions lead to one (10-9) at 14:33, scoring her fifth and final goal on an assist from junior Lauren Smolensky.
The teams would trade two goals each down the stretch with sophomore Tessa Chad making it a 11-10 Columbia advantage at 10:31, before Bull added her second goal of the game with 46 seconds remaining to put the score at 12-11.
The Griffs controlled possession of the ball in their offensive zone for the final seconds of play, including a free position shot by Reininger with four seconds remaining, but the attempt was turned away by Columbia goalkeeper Kelsey Gedin.
Overall, Gedin made 11 saves on 22 shots, while Canisius goalkeeper Rebecca VanLaeken recorded seven saves on 19 shots by Columbia.
• Smolensky led all Canisius players with three assists and totaled the second most points behind Evans.
• Evans, Reininger and VanLaeken led the Griffs with three ground balls each.
• Evans recorded a team-high five draw controls.
• Junior Nicole Nelson, sophomore Kayla O’Connell and VanLaeken led the team with two caused turnovers.
• Evans posted season highs in goals (5), points (6), draw controls (5) and tied season bests with three ground balls and one turnover.
• Bull recorded a season high with her two goals, while Smolensky’s three assists were also a season high.
• The Griffs narrowly lost the draw control battle 13-12, while also recording one less ground ball than the Lions 22-21.
Head Coach Scott Teeter’s Postgame Comments
“Today was a tough loss, we came out of the gate a little bit slow, but midway through the first half we hit our stride and were able to put away our shots.”
“In the first half I thought our defense held their own, making plays, and we cleared the ball pretty good. In the second half we struggled to get the clears, from decision making with the ball, to valuing the ball. We need to improve in that area.”
“Columbia put more pressure on us in the second half in transition, they pushed the ball when they had it and got some goals off of that.”
“Erica played her heart out and kept us in it. She made plays all over the place, on draws in transition and scored some big goals down the stretch.”
The Golden Griffins will hit the road for three contests next week, starting with Binghamton next Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. The team will then faceoff against Delaware Friday, Mar. 3, at 6 p.m., before taking on defending national champion North Carolina on Sunday, Mar. 5, at Noon.