By John Ostapowicz
The Youngstown State University women’s lacrosse team had a successful day at the Watson and Tressel Training Site on Thursday, March 3 by winning its first conference game against The University of Akron, 12-11.
Sophomore midfielder Jordan Miller netted the game-winning goal 59 seconds into the first overtime period of the season for the Penguins. The victory marks the program’s first conference home win in its two-year history.
The Youngstown State offensive attack was led by graduate-student midfielder Ali Korin as she netted a game-high four goals on seven attempts. She has nine goals for the season and was able to tie the game with 11.9 seconds remaining in regulation.
Freshman attacker Natalie Calandra-Ryan tallied her fifth multi-goal performance in as many career games. She has scored at least three goals for the third time this season and increased her season total to 23 goals, 18 of the 23 have come from just five total games.
Sophomore attacker Erin Clark tallied a multi-goal outing by adding two to the team’s total. Freshman attacker Sydney Bumstead also added to the score by being the last Penguin to contribute to the win.
Graduate-student goalie Savannah Clarke made her fifth-consecutive start in the cage for the Penguins. She tallied nine saves on 22 shots attempted for a .500 save percentage. Clarke also scooped up three ground balls in her 61-minute performance.
Sophomore defender Skyler Weber was impressed with the team’s defensive pursuit as they were able to shut the Zips offense down in the last half of the game. The key to the Penguins defensive attack lies in the ability to focus and work together in sync.
“Getting our defense focused, to see what their offense looks like and playing our true defensive look,” Weber said.
On Tuesday, March 8, the women’s lacrosse team headed to Rock Hill, South Carolina, to take on its non-conference opponent Winthrop University. Youngstown State fought hard but fell short 18-14.
Despite the loss, the Penguin offense saw six different players find the back of the net. Clark, Clandra-Ryan and Bumstead all added a trio of goals.
Clark was also able to accumulate a game-high three assists and 6-total points, adding to her spectacular season.
Freshman midfielder Molly Sheridan and sophomore midfielder Lauren Ottensmeyer contributed to the score by adding two goals each.
Sophomore goalie Mikaela Staranko and Clarke both spent time in the cage. Both players combined for 11 saves across 33 attempted shots.
Saturday, March 12 was an exciting day for the women’s lacrosse team as it brought down The University of Detroit Mercy, 12-11 at the WATTS.
With the win, Youngstown State improves to a 4-3 record and stays undefeated in Mid-American Conference Play.
Clark had a stellar performance as she led the Penguin offense by scoring three goals on seven attempted shots. She increased her goal total to 19 on the season as well as logging six points off of three assists.
The dominance did not stop there as Calandra-Ryan, Ottensmeyer and Bumstead all scored two goals a piece to contribute to the Youngstown State victory.
In preparation for the Penguin’s next game, Weber is optimistic that the team will prepare and adjust accordingly to the film they watch. The team is also adept on reading offense and capitalizing on offensive errors.
“We adjust our defense by watching film — which is a big one — and looking at how we can adjust from the last game as well as how the team plays their offense,” Weber said.
The women’s lacrosse team looks to continue its success as it travels to take on Kent State University today, March 17 at 6 p.m.