By Ronald Hanaki
On April 8, the ESU Warriors met the Shippensburg Raiders in an epic battle of women’s lacrosse on a cold and overcast Wednesday afternoon at Whitenight Field.
Despite being down by one or two goals for most of the game, the Warriors never gave up. When the dust settled and the fingers thawed, the Warriors overcame the Raiders and even triskaidekaphobia to claim a hard-fought 14-13 victory over their PSAC rivals. It is the second conference win for the Warriors.
Sophomore attack and business management major Lauren Green led the Warriors in scoring with 5 goals.
Junior attack and biology major Lauren Nunes had 4 goals and 1 assist.
Junior attack and math education major Kaitlynn Wiltraut chipped in with 2 goals.
The Warriors scored the first two goals to open the game, but the Raiders came right back with three goals of their own to take the lead.
Warrior co-captain Wiltraut scored the equalizer unassisted to level the game at 3-3.
The game was knotted at 6-6 as the two combatants would trade goals on a wet Whitenight Field.
The Raiders would break the tie by scoring the next four out of five goals to take a 10-7 lead over the Warriors at recess.
When Shippensburg senior attack Courtney Kennedy scored on an unassisted play to make it 11-7 Raiders early in the second half, the outcome of the game for the Warriors would look like the weather: cloudy.
Later in the second half, the Raiders would lead the Warriors 12-9, but ESU was too legit to quit. The Warriors remained plodding and deliberate, and the result was ESU redshirt sophomore Jamie Zimmer and freshman attack April Jones scoring goals several minutes apart to cut Ship’s lead to just one goal.
When Lauren Green scored her fifth goal to tie the game at 13-13 with 13:13 left to play in the game, it had to be some kind of omen. Which team would succumb to triskaidekaphobia?
The answer came with 3:02 left in the game when Lauren Nunes continued her career year by netting the game-winning goal.
ESU would manage to play keep away for the last few minutes of the game and found themselves on the winning end of an almost improbable victory. ESU’s postgame celebration spelled pure bliss to the Warrior faithful.
Sophomore psychology major Emily Fitzsimmons made another start as the goalkeeper in place of the injured Jessica Maxwell. The pride of East Meadow, Long Island was stout in goal and made 5 saves including saves of a couple of blistering shots from point-blank range.
ESU (6-4, 2-4) will enjoy a brief respite before hitting the road to play Slippery Rock on April 11.
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