Women’s lacrosse loses season opener to Fresno State

Jimmy Oswald Sports Reporter

The Kent State women’s lacrosse team has not won a game in 677 days.

After losing 20-11 to Fresno State in Friday’s season opener, the Flashes will be forced to wait even longer. 

KSU’s 2020 season was stopped after only six games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The season before was their inaugural one, when they finished 2-15. 

Coach Brianne Tierney said that their offseason “has not been much different than usual.”

“It has been a little bit longer, which has allowed for a little more preparation,” she said. 

The opener was back-and-forth early on, at one point being tied 2-2. Afterwards, the Bulldogs went on a 7-2 run to take a 9-4 lead into halftime. 

Fresno State would open the second half with seven straight goals, but the Flashes would go on a 7-4 run to end the game. 

“We let down there in the first part of the second half,” Tierney said. “It just got away from us. Once adjustments were made, we were just out of time.”

Tierney credited confidence with her team’s run at the end.

“Confidence increased in our attackers,” she said. “They started trusting that they could take on a player one-on-one.”

Tierney also said their attackers improved at attacking to the crease, which led to some good goals. 

Junior midfielder Abby Jones continued her success from last season with a team-leading four goals, along with one assist. She also had a program-record 13 shots and 10 shots on goal for KSU.

Tierney described Jones as “always phenomenal.”

“She was great all over the field,” Tierney said. “You give her time and room to shoot, and she’s going to take those shots.” 

Jones had 32 goals and 20 assists while starting in all 17 games for the Flashes in 2019. 

“I loved her assist to Meghan Cawood,” she said. “And she did really well with her defensive assignment. That’s where she’s going to continue to grow.” 

Sophomore attacker Kenzie Sklar had three goals on all three shots on goal attempts. 

Tierney said that Sklar is great at getting to the goal.

“She’s very confident with the ball,” Tierney said. “She’s got a nose for the goal. She’s not going to be stopped if she has it in her head that she’s going to score.” 

Junior midfielder Madison Rapier also had two goals. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Madison Flannigan started for the Flashes. She had seven saves while allowing 14 goals for a save percentage of .333.

Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Monturo replaced Flannigan during the second half. She had two saves with six goals allowed for a save percentage of .250. 

Tierney said the reason for the switch was because “things started to get away from Madison.”

“There was a lot of one-on-one for Madison and it became mentally draining,” she said. “Taylor has been really good in practice and has earned some playing time.” 

Tierney said the team is going to “bounce right back up.”

“We need to make some adjustments on clearing the ball and transition,” she said. “But we’ll build on the confidence we have with the ball and trusting our feet and stickwork.”

The Flashes will host Marquette University, which is 0-1, on Feb. 27.

Jimmy is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]