By John Ostapowicz
On Friday, Feb. 11, the Youngstown State University’s women’s lacrosse team took on St. Bonaventure University at the Watson and Tressel Training Site. The team opened its program’s first non-conference game with a win over the Bonnies 18-7.
The Penguins offensive pursuit was led by sophomore midfielder Lauren Ottensmeyer, who netted a game-high four goals on six shots attempted. Ottensmeyer was sensational last season in her freshman year and was able to record 16 goals, 18 total points, nine free position goals and Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week on March 17, 2021.
Besides Ottensmeyer, sophomore midfielder Aryss Lindsey found the back of the net three times. In Lindsey’s freshman season, she finished third on the team in goals with 13 and tied for fourth in points with 14.
Freshman attacker Sydney Bumstead started her first game as a Penguin scoring three goals. Another player making her debut was freshman attacker Natalie Calandra-Ryan, who scored two goals.
A notable player in the game was sophomore attacker Erin Clark, who not only scored two goals, but also added a career-best five assists to post seven total points. She was recognized for her contribution in the win by receiving MAC Offensive Player of the Week.
Clark is the second player in program history to receive the award and was very adamant about getting Youngstown State the recognition it deserves.
“[What was] going through my mind was … putting Youngstown on the map and being known nationally,” Clark said.
During the offseason, Clark tried to push herself to be the best possible player she could be on and off the field. She attributes her success to playing her position at the highest level.
“In the offseason, I really wanted to become a more versatile player and figure out what more I could bring to my game,” Clark said.
Graduate student midfielder Ali Korin and sophomore midfielder Jordan Miller also scored two goals to contribute to the Penguins’ victory.
Coming through the transfer portal this year was St. Bonaventure’s graduate student Savannah Clarke, who played goalie and was with the university for four seasons. In her time at St. Bonaventure, she ranked fifth in program history in overall starts with 29, as well as sixth in total saves with 290.
Clarke’s career doesn’t stop there as she tallied a career-high 19 saves against Duquesne University just a year ago. As a sophomore, she made the NCAA leaderboard for most minutes played in 2019 with 1,020.
Clarke didn’t disappoint as she logged a game-best of 13 saves on 20 shots attempted by the Bonnies. Nine of those saves came in the first half of the game alone.
Monday, Feb. 14 was a big day for the women’s lacrosse team as it headed to Pittsburgh to take on Duquesne. The team’s fourth period comeback effort was not enough as it fell 19-15.
The Penguins started out the game cold until Bumstead scored the first goal to put the team on the board. She also scored two other goals, which put her season total to six.
Going into halftime, the Penguins were down 13-6 and looking to make a comeback. Calandra-Ryan did just that by scoring a career-high six goals and two assists.
She was fundamental in trying to stage an upset over the Dukes, as five of her goals came in the third and fourth periods. Her two assisted goals also helped the score stay close in the final minutes.
The Penguins look to bounce back as they return to the WATTS tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 18, to take on Saint Francis University at 1 p.m.