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With a 10-2 record and ranked No. 7 in the nation, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania women’s lacrosse team was given a four-game homestand – what should have served as a relief.
Instead of finishing off one of the best seasons in the program’s history on a high note, IUP succeeded in holding off a pesky Bloomsburg University team Wednesday to salvage a split of the final four games. The win came on the heels of a disappointing 14-13 loss Saturday to West Chester University.
“We are going to come out stronger than ever,” Taylor Norwood (senior, nursing) said after the loss Saturday. “We definitely need a big team win and [to] gather some momentum going into the postseason.”
The Crimson Hawks, who moved down four spots to No. 11 in the latest Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association poll, did just that and got the much-needed victory over the Huskies in a hard-fought 14-9 game at George P. Miller Stadium.
IUP was able to get back on track due to extra preparation and film review, according to head coach Mindy Richmond.
After falling behind 2-0 and 3-1, five unanswered goals by the Crimson Hawks got IUP back into game to take a 5-3 lead midway through the first half. Both teams traded goals, and IUP entered intermission with a 6-5 lead, as both teams struggled to gain an advantage.
Drew Hayden (sophomore, special education and clinical services) heated up in the second half, adding four goals. Hayden’s first goal of the second half broke a 6-6 tie, while her strike with 15:53 left in the game gave IUP a 9-8 advantage that it never relinquished.
Brittney Palardy (sophomore, health and physical education), Amy Weinberg (sophomore, special education and clinical services) and Kim Hooven (freshman, health and physical education) added insurance goals to secure the 14-9 victory.
Richmond credited the win to her team’s strong play in the second half.
“Playing a full two halves [was key],” Richmond said. “We’ve really been struggling in the second half of games, and it was really just about playing with intensity both halves for an entire 60 minutes.”
The Crimson Hawks’ defense again was stout, limiting just 15 shots on goal. Goalkeeper Katie Davis (senior, interior design) went the duration in net and recorded six saves.
Hayden’s five goals on the day gave her 61 for the season. In the loss to West Chester, Hayden passed Alexa Lodovici’s single-season mark of 55, which was set last season.
Only a sophomore, Hayden has scored 94 career goals, which places her eighth on the all-time list. Lodovici holds the career-goals record of 167.
Also breaking a record Wednesday was Amy Weinberg (sophomore, special education and clinical services), whose four assists gave her 49 for the season. The previous record of 46 was held by Lodovici and 2011 graduate Becca Vogt.
The Crimson Hawks, which are 10-2 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play, will play the waiting game before finding out the team’s next opponent. They will likely host one of the two quarterfinals Tuesday.
“I know that we have the talent for win,” Richmond said. They really want it, so I’m definitely expecting a big win next week.”