Lacrosse team rallies late but falls 11-10 in opener


KSU Women’s Lacrosse vs. Presbyterian College at DIX Stadium on Monday, March 22. Photo by Morgan McGrath.

Jacob Shondel Reporter

Kent State women’s lacrosse team started its season opener fast and ended it with a flurry of scoring, but ultimately fell to Butler 11-10.

Despite the loss, coach Brianne Tierney was pleased with much of what she saw.

“The mistakes are fixable,” she said. “Transitions, carrying the ball, being posed under pressure and cleaning up our passes is what we will need to work on.”

“Going from being in the field house to coming out on a full-size field makes it feel different since there is more room to work with. Plus players are a little nervous for the first game of the season.”

Junior attacker Kenzie Sklar led KSU with six goals, a new career high, and one short of the school record.

“It was totally unexpected,” Sklar said. “I was able to capitalize on their mistakes. [Butler] was giving us open lanes to score. When you get beat, you have to slide to help your teammates. They were not doing that.”

Kent State took a 2-0 lead within the first two minutes. But the Flashes struggled to maintain possession of the ball throughout the second and third periods.

During that time, the Flashes lost draw controls 9-4 and committed 12 turnovers. Those extra possessions led to seven goals for Butler, and the Flashes found themselves trailing 10-7 with 13 minutes remaining. 

Kent’s defense forced seven turnovers in the final period to keep the Flashes in the game.

Butler junior midfielder Kaley Attaway scored with the shot clock sounding to take a 11-9 lead with 1:06. 10 seconds later, Kent State senior attacker Megan Kozar would score on a free position attempt, making it 11-10.

With 10 seconds remaining, the Flashes won the draw but couldn’t get off a shot.

Butler had 32 shots, with 24 on goal; KSU had 26 shots and 16 on goal.

Kent State junior goalkeeper Madison Flannigan ended the game with 13 saves, the second most in her career. 

“Coming off of last season, to see how much our team has grown and really meshed together was awesome,” Sklar said. “Despite the outcome, it was a good way to start the season.”

Going into the next game, Kent State will need to have more confidence, Tierney said.

“I think we’re afraid to make mistakes, and we need to be excited to have the opportunity,” she said. “We’ll have to shift gears and mentality when going up against Duquesne.”

Kent State will take on Dukes at 4 p.m. Friday at Dix Stadium. 

Jacob Shondel is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].