After the Shippensburg University women’s lacrosse team went blow for blow with Seton Hill University in the first half of Wednesday’s season-opening contest, the team seemed to be out-matched and out-played once the second half rolled around.
Despite a slim 5-4 advantage at halftime, Seton Hill (1-0, 1-0 PSAC) garnered complete control in the remaining 30 minutes, outscoring the Raiders 10-2 and winning by a score of 15-6 at the Robb Sports Complex.
For the Griffins, Wednesday’s blowout served as revenge for last year’s upset in which SU claimed a 10-9 victory on Seton Hill’s home turf. The Griffins were ranked nationally at the time.
Seton Hill trounced SU in nearly every category — shots on goal (33-14), turnovers (19-27), draw controls (12-11) and ground balls (28-13).
The Raiders (0-2, 0-2 PSAC) found themselves in a hole straight out of the gate thanks to a 3-0 Seton Hill run. Junior Alana Cardaci tallied the first SU goal of the season, finding the back of the net at the 18:01 mark, finally chipping away at the deficit.
Sophomore Gabby Savarino responded with another goal less than a minute later, followed by sophomore Hannah Seifried adding two goals of her own to close out the first frame.
After a Seton Hill goal out of the break, Savarino countered with her second goal of the day, keeping the Raiders within one.
But the Griffins refused to take their foot off the pedal. Seton Hill fired on all cylinders, refusing to miss the back of the net, propelling an 8-0 second-half run, placing the game out of reach.
Seifried stopped the bleeding with 12:15 left in the game, netting her first hat trick of the young season (fifth career), before Seton Hill’s Angela Jones rounded out the scoring with a fraction over two minutes remaining.
Redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper KiKi Brasher accounted for the loss, allowing 14 goals, while totaling nine saves. Freshman Ally Weneta relieved Brasher for the final 13 minutes, conceding one goal over three saves.
Cardaci and junior Madi Jones led SU with two ground balls apiece.
Looking to re-right the ship Saturday, the Raiders found more success on the offensive end but still struggled defensively as Millersville University handed SU its second loss in the opening week of play.
Cardaci and Seifried remained prominent in the defeat, with Seifried notching four goals and Cardaci three, en route to her first hat trick of the 2021 campaign, her 18th overall.
Millersville (1-1, 1-0 PSAC) out-paced the Raiders 10-6 in the first stanza, while going neck-and-neck in the second half to the tune of a 5-5 score, resulting in a 15-11 outcome.
MU opened the scoring in the first half before Seifried fired a shot into the twine a tad over three minutes in. The Marauders proceeded on a 3-0 run prior to Cardaci rattling off three goals, with the third accounting as her 100th career goal. She became the 15th Raider to join the 100-goal club.
Savarino and freshman Abby Seasock tacked on to the SU scoring column, with Seasock earning a feat of her own — her first collegiate goal.
Seifried paved the way for the Raiders in the second half despite an early 4-0 Marauders run, completing her second hat trick and finishing with four goals on the afternoon. Sophomore Sydney Costanza found the back of the net at the 16:23 mark, and junior Jena MacDonald contributed a goal in the final four minutes. MacDonald also recorded her 61st career assist, etching her name as fifth all-time in the SU record books.
Weneta held goalkeeper duties, with 15 goals allowed, 10 saves and earning her first loss of the year.
Seasock paced the Raiders with four ground balls, with junior Jessica DeMarte not far behind, tallying three.
The Raiders return to Robb Sports Complex Wednesday and Saturday to continue their four-game homestand and Pennsylvania State Athletic Eastern Conference (PSAC) play with West Chester University visiting midweek, and Shepherd University coming to town Saturday.