Lacrosse dominated by strong St. John Fisher squad

Women’s lacrosse fell to 1-2 on the season after losing to nationally ranked St. John Fisher, 16-5, on Saturday.

The Cardinals scored eight of the game’s first nine goals and cruised to a 5-0 record, moving up two spots from No. 15 to thirteenth nationally among Division-III teams.

Becca Martinez led Buffalo State with a goal and two assists, giving her a team-leading seven goals through the first three games. Ashley Coleman, Sarah Lorusso, Kendra Thomas, and Meghan Farrell also scored for the Bengals.

St. John Fisher led 6-1 at the half, and then netted another two in the second before Buffalo State answered with two of goals of its own to cut the lead to 8-3. But a 5-0 Cardinal run put the game away, as the two final Bengals goals weren’t enough to rally back.

The Cardinals won 19 of 23 draw controls, which resulted in a lopsided 40-11 shot differential in Fisher’s favor. The Cardinals also scooped up 25 ground balls over the Bengals’ 16.

We didn’t possess the ball at all. I would imagine, in the first half, we had the ball about two minutes out of 30.

— Kelsey Schwan, women's lacrosse head coach

“We were never the first ones there,” said Meghan Farrell, speaking of the Bengals’ inability to get to ground balls. “It was terrible. We need to box out the player so we can get there first, or just run through the ball. We just try to pick it up standing, and it’s not working out.”

“Ground balls and draw controls absolutely killed us this game,” said Thomas, who scored her first goal of the year Saturday. “They had possession practically the entire game. Draw controls are something we have to do over, and over and over again in practice. Same with ground balls.”

Time of possession isn’t a stat that is kept track of in women’s lacrosse, but the general consensus was that Buffalo State had the ball for a very limited amount of time on Saturday.

“We didn’t possess the ball at all,” head coach Kelsey Schwan said. “I would imagine, in the first half, we had the ball about two minutes out of 30.”

“For probably about 50 minutes of the game, we were playing defense,” Farrell said. “They only scored 16 goals, which is actually pretty outstanding. I think our defense did well.”

Thomas said that despite the big loss, the team put forth a greater effort than they did last week against Union.

“Compared to last weekend, we played a lot better, we played a lot harder,” Thomas said. “Now we just need to learn to capitalize.”

Schwan also said being unable to capitalize was a big problem for the Bengals on Saturday.

“We forced some turnovers on Fisher,” she said. “But we weren’t able to bring the ball down the field and capitalize. We struggled transitioning the ball into the offensive end.”

Freshman goalie Elyse Stark made her debut and managed to stop 11 shots. All three of Buffalo State’s goalies have seen time in net, and Schwan said it’s still unclear who will be the go-to keeper.

“I’ve seen a lot of communication from Brooklyn (Schiller),” Schwan said. “She’s very active, lots of energy in the cage. Colleen (George) is a steady presence. She does a good job of keeping her positioning in the cage. Elyse really stepped up today. I was really impressed. Honestly they all impress me on different days.”

The Bengals will play their home opener against Houghton College at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.