By Ronald Hanaki
In a dramatic and hard-fought victory, ESU’s women’s lacrosse team beat the defending PSAC champion Lock Haven University Bald Eagles 8-7 on a windy Tuesday afternoon at Whitenight Field.
Senior attacks Lauren Nunes and Kaitlynn Wiltraut anchored the win for the Warriors.
Nunes had five goals and two assists. For Nunes, it was just another day at the office.
Wiltraut had a hat trick. Together, the dynamic duo accounted for all eight of ESU’s goals.
The first half was a defensive, tactical battle.
ESU drew first blood when junior attack Lauren Green scored to make it 1-0. However, the goal came off an extended offensive possession.
Lock Haven’s defense was stout. Clearly, points were going to be had at a premium in this game.
Half a minute later, the Bald Eagles came back with the equalizer when Lock Haven junior midfielder Rachel Engler’s shot found the back of the net.
Wiltraut then scored the first of her three goals enabling the Warriors to take a one-goal lead again, but Lock Haven would answer with two goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead into recess.
Just over two minutes into the second half, Nunes had an unassisted goal to level the game at three goals apiece.
In the next minute, both teams scored goals. The game was tied at four.
A Lock Haven foul led to a Nunes free position shot which she converted to make the score five to four ESU.
Wiltraut then added another goal off of a Nunes assist to make the score six to four ESU.
Lock Haven hung tough. The Bald Eagles only needed three minutes to score two goals to knot the score at six apiece.
Then Nunes put on her Superwoman cape and scored the next two goals. ESU now led Lock Haven eight to six.
With just over six minutes left in the game, reigning PSAC Lacrosse Athlete of the Week Hayley Killian scored an unassisted goal to make the score eight to seven, but the Warriors managed to play keep-away for the rest of the game and ran out the clock for their first win over Lock Haven since 2001.
Nunes was magnificent in this game. With 11:24 to go in the second half, Nunes put on an ankle-breaking crossover move on Lock Haven freshman midfielder Karli Gilbert that would have made Allen Iverson proud.
Gilbert crumpled to the ground, and play had to be stopped as Gilbert was assisted off the field by two medical trainers.
The Warriors (9-1, 4-1) are back on the field against Seton Hill tomorrow.
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