By Pat Gainor, Staff Writer
The Xavier women’s lacrosse team made history this weekend as they won their first and second games in program history.
The Musketeers entered their road game against the Radford Highlanders (0-4) looking to rebound from their 11-10 loss in their home opener against Detroit Mercy.
Xavier began by trading goals with Radford before the Highlanders, led by attacker Ashley Grogan, went on a 4-0 run to take an 8-4 advantage midway through the second quarter. However, Xavier’s offense would pick up the slack, netting three goals heading into halftime and two more to take a 9-8 lead in the third quarter.
From then on, it was a shootout from both sides. With every goal the Highlanders scored, the Musketeers responded. They broke the back-and-forth bout as graduate attacker Riley Halloran, assisted by her sister Dylan, scored to give Xavier a 14-12 lead with just under three minutes to play. The deficit would be too much to overcome late, and Xavier came away with the 15-14 win, their first in program history.
“We had some tough breaks, like any good game will give you, but the response our players showed was to fight harder,” Head Coach Meg Decker said following the game. “So many players put their names on the board for the first time. And every single player from goal to goal to bench, every single one of them won that game.”
Two days later, Xavier traveled up to Farmville to take on the Longwood Lancers (2-2). The Lancers’ offense came out firing as they quickly amassed a 4-1 lead in the first 10 minutes. Xavier immediately responded with a run of their own as they took a 5-4 lead into the second quarter.
Wrapped in yet another high-scoring shootout, Xavier and Longwood exchanged goals all the way through the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Xavier netted three straight to begin the final frame, taking a 15-12 lead with eight minutes left. That lead as be too much for the Lancers to overcome as Xavier rolled to their second straight win with a final score of 16-14.
Lola Mancuso took the spotlight for the weekend of action, scoring four goals against Radford and a double hat trick against Longwood for a total of 10 goals and 11 points. Mancuso was named the Big East Freshman of the Week for her performance, the first Xavier lacrosse player to be given an honorary award by the conference.
Mancuso leads the team with 16 goals and 19 points so far in the season.
Riley Halloran also had an excellent weekend as she finished with five goals and seven points over those two games. She currently has eight goals and 10 points so far this season.
Marina Piszczor made 19 saves out of 40 shots for a 0.475 save rate and collected her first goalkeeper win over the weekend. She currently has a 0.474 save rate for the season.
“Playing back to back games isn’t easy no matter who you are. Winning two on the road as a first-year program only happens when the entire team shows up,” Coach Decker said following the win against Longwood. “Our game plan was very simple, do your job. Execute the game plan. We won because every single player did their job.”
The Musketeers take the pitch again this Saturday as they take on the Presbyterian College Blue Hose, looking to go above 0.500 for the first time.
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