The Oneonta Red Dragons (8-5, 3-2) entered Saturday's SUNYAC women's lacrosse game against the Fredonia State Blue Devils (9-3, 3-1) as the No. 20 ranked team in the nation according to the International Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association.
The Blue Devils fell behind 2-1 early, but answered by scoring five of the next six goals en route to a 13-8 victory.
With the win, Fredonia State moves into second place in the SUNYAC behind undefeated Cortland.
OBSERVER?Photo by Jeremy Izzio
Fredonia State’s Emily Polizzi moves up the field with the ball as she is defended by Oneonta’s Stefanie Rodriguez, during their SUNYAC?women’s lacrosse game Saturday, at University Stadium.
OBSERVER?Photo by Jeremy Izzio
Fredonia State’s Chelsea Maderer makes a pass during the Blue Devils’ SUNYAC?women’s lacrosse game against Oneonta, at University Stadium, on Saturday.
"This was a game that is probably going to give us a little bit of an advantage in the standings," Fredonia State head coach Chris Case said. "We have such competition going down the stretch that anything can happen. Having this head-to-head win may be critical as we finish the season."
Katie Glagolev powered the Blue Devil attack early by scoring three goals in the first nine minutes. Fredonia State fell behind twice early - at scores of 1-0 and 2-1 - but each time, it was Glagolev who scored the equalizer.
With the scored tied 2-all, Glagolev scored her third goal of the half to give the Blue Devils their first lead, which they did not surrender the rest of the contest.
"One of the things we have been working on with Katie Glagolev is being able to drive and early in the game she just went right after her defender," Case said. "They had to make changes to try and take her away. She had a great day."
Emily Polizzi added two more goals before the end of the first half and Fredonia State went into the half with a slim 5-3 lead.
Less than a minute into the second half Oneonta pulled to within one goal when Kiera McNally found the back of the net for an unassisted goal.
Fredonia State once again answered.
The Blue Devils scored the next six goals to build an 11-4 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Just when it appeared the Blue Devils may put the game away, Oneonta scored four of the next six goals and cut the lead to 12-8.
The Red Dragons had momentum on their side, but the clock was against them.
Glagolev bookended her stellar performance by scoring the final goal of the game with just under three minutes remaining to put the Red Dragons away. She finished with a game-high five goals.
"I'm really happy with the way we bounced back (after losing to Geneseo on Wednesday)," Case said. "We played nationally ranked Geneseo and lost a very close game then had to come back (yesterday) against another nationally ranked team. I'm glad to see us come out and not dwell on the loss Wednesday."
Marissa Coussins added four goals, caused three turnovers and recovered two ground balls in the win.
Kristie Kleine also had a solid all-around game with two goals, two assists and four ground balls while also capturing six draw controlls.
On defense, Chelsea Maderer led the way with four ground balls to go with three caused turnovers.
Jessica Zagari earned the win in net for the Blue Devils.
Kiera McNally led Oneonta with three goals in a losing effort.
The Blue Devils have a four games remaining this season - all SUNYAC contests - and the road ahead won't be easy despite having a chance to clinch a playoff spot next week with a single win.
"SUNYAC women's lacrosse has come a long way," Case said. "In terms of most teams represented in the IWLCA (International Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association) Ranking, the SINYAC has the second most. We have 6-of-9 schools nationally ranked.
"The game has grown so much," Case added. "Rochester and Syracuse are two of the best hotbeds in all of the nation to draw lacrosse players. That's why you see state schools in New York with their small budgets having the quality of their lacrosse programs continue to improve."
The Blue Devils will travel to Buffalo State on Tuesday and Potsdam on Saturday before returning home to finish the regular season against Brockport (April 22) and Cortland (April 26).
The SUNYAC tournament is scheduled to begin April 29.