The hits keep on coming for the women’s lacrosse team.
First, the Lions lost leading scorer and senior captain Meaghan Ross, who went down with a concussion March 17 against Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The next loss came last Wednesday when freshman standout Chelsea Phillips went crashing to the turf after tripping over a Mount Ida College defender. The result: a bruised side and rib keeping her out of Saturday’s game at Norwich University.
Without two of its offensive leaders — Ross (18 goals, 21 points) and Phillips (26 goals, 29 points), Emerson knew scoring would be difficult against Norwich.
The Cadets controlled the ball throughout the game while limiting the Lions to just 13 shots and handing Emerson its first Great Northeast Athletic Conference loss of the year, 14-6. The game was played about an hour from Norwich at South Burlington High School because Norwich’s field doesn’t have lights.
The Cadets were in charge from the outset and converted on 14 of their 28 shot attempts. They also won 17 of the 22 faceoffs during the contest as their quickness proved to be a problem for the Lions.
“It was a tough game,” said Emerson goalie Emily Saeger, a sophomore film production major.
“Norwich had a really fast team and used their speed for fast breaks straight to the net. We were eventually able to slow down and force a settled attack, which we performed well in. But, as a goalie, fast breaks are the worst.”
Co-captain Katie Dodge pointed at injuries and a depleted roster as one of the main reasons for the loss.
“There are a number of factors that could have contributed to [it],” said Dodge, a senior marketing communication major. “It could have been not having our whole team. Chelsea Phillips was hurt, which was a bummer for us because she is a big scorer.”
Norwich breezed to a 9-3 lead at the half before adding five more goals in the second to deliver the final knockout punch.
The loss came just after the Lions had started to turn things around. Emerson had dropped its first five matches of the season (including four during a spring break trip to California), but had gone 3-1 since the start of the GNAC play March 26.
The loss moves Emerson into a tie for third place in the GNAC with Simmons College, a team the Lions will take on next Wednesday.
Norwich retained its No. 1 spot in the GNAC with a perfect 5-0 in-conference record.
The Lions will face St. Joe’s of Maine Saturday at Rotch Field at 1 p.m. The Monks are currently winless in the GNAC.