Aztec Lacrosse loses a heartbreaker in overtime against Drexel 15-14

Senior+Deanna+Balsama+%28%2324%29+celebrates+after+scoring+a+goal+versus+the+Princeton+Tigers+on+March+12.

Tania Gallardo Avalos

Senior Deanna Balsama (#24) celebrates after scoring a goal versus the Princeton Tigers on March 12.

by Adam Correa, Staff Writer

The San Diego State lacrosse team (3-5) lost in overtime to the Drexel Dragons (5-4) 15-14 on Wednesday, March 23.  

Senior Deanna Balsama got it started for the Aztecs and then, on a free position opportunity, graduate Colleen Grady scored to tie the game for the Dragons.

Junior Camdyn O’Donnell and senior Julia Lytle put the Aztecs up by two to make it 3-1, then O’Donnell fed Lytle her second goal of the game to make it 4-1.

Turnovers and fouls by the Aztecs started to benefit the Dragons as graduates Lucy Schneidereith, Karson Harris and Grady scored to tie the game at 4-4 to end the first quarter. 

Balsama started the second quarter with a yellow card and the Dragons would capitalize a woman-up with Harris’s goal and junior Allison Drake’s goal to make it 6-4. 

The Scarlet and Black got the momentum back and went on a 4-0 run with goals from Balsama, Lytle and senior Bailey Brown to make it 8-6.

As the clock was ticking down, the Dragons had one more chance to score and they executed with Grady’s free-position goal to close the score to 8-7 at the end of the first half.

The Dragons came back from halftime with lots of energy and went on a 3-0 run with goals from Drake, Schneidereith and junior Corinne Bednarik to make it 10-8.

The Scarlet and Black went on a 3-0 run of their own and grasped an 11-10 lead ending the third quarter. 

Senior Cailin Young committed a foul that resulted in a yellow card and a free-position shot opportunity for Drake which she scored to tie the game up at 11-11.

The Aztecs went back on offense and O’Donnell made her way from the back of the net to the front and put in a long range goal to give the team a 12-11 lead.

Drake and senior Hayleigh Simpson went back to back to give the Dragons the lead but then O’Donnell and Balsama answered right back and regained the lead for the Aztecs 14-13.

Nerves started to kick in with a minute left in the fourth quarter and the Aztecs called two timeouts as head coach Kylee White didn’t like what she saw.

“It (the timeout) was to try and get the right people in the right situation,” White said. “It’s been a while since we’ve been in that type of situation.”

SDSU fans were holding on to the edge of their seats to hope for a win but the Dragons would tie it up with a long range snipe from Harris with seven seconds left, sending the game into overtime.

The Scarlet and Black started on offense and sophomore Brook Waddell would get the only goal-scoring opportunity, but she was stopped by graduate Zoe Bennett. 

The Dragons went on offense and got two great shots on goal that were denied by senior Sam Horan but Simpson buried the third shot attempt with 11 seconds remaining for the game winner.

White said she loved how the players competed despite the 15-14 overtime loss.

“I’m extremely proud of our team,” White said. “I felt like we actually played a full 63 minutes.” 

The Dragons had 25 draw controls to the Aztecs’ eight, hurting their chances for offensive possession in a close match.

“For us to not have those possessions definitely hurt us on offense,” White said. “You’re feeling a little bit more pressure to make a stop on defense and then produce on offense.”

Senior captain Shelby Hook said her defense held up well but the yellow cards leading to woman-down situations were costly.

“We did play a lot of man-down defense so statistically that’s obviously harder,” Hook said. “I think we held up our own, it’s a great team and we definitely put up a fight until the very end.”

The Aztecs’ 28 fouls were 13 less than their last game, drawing praise from White. 

“We actually spent all week focusing on breaking down our feet and being more disciplined,” White said. “To go from 40 some odd fouls down to 28 is even good.”

Lytle, O’Donnell, and Balsama all had four goals in the game, putting Balsama with 40 goals on the season, O’Donnell with 24 and Lytle with 13. 

The Scarlet and Black will play their last home game of the four-game stretch against the No. 9 University of Denver Pioneers (8-1) on Sunday, March 27 at the SDSU Lacrosse Field.