Aztec Lacrosse ends their four-game homestand with a loss to No. 9 Denver 19-11

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SDSU Athletics

Senior Bailey Brown (#30) attempting to stay a shot on goal against the Denver Pioneers. (Photo Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)

by Adam Correa, Staff Writer

The San Diego State women’s lacrosse team (3-6) lost to the No. 9 University of Denver Pioneers (10-1) 19-11 on Sunday, March 27.

In the first quarter, senior Sam Horan allowed four tough goals by Pioneer junior Julia Gilbert, senior Kayla Derose and freshman Lauren Black.

Senior Deanna Balsama scored two goals in the first quarter for the Scarlet and Black, one off a free-position and the other off a beautiful pass from sophomore Brook Waddell. 

Both teams were defensively strong in the first quarter, and Balsama knew she was going up against great defense. 

“We knew that Denver’s a high pressure zone,” Balsama said. “So we knew it’s gonna be a challenge.”

The Scarlet and Black’s defense started to take some heat from the Pioneers, as they scored two straight to start the second quarter making it 6-2.

After head coach Kylee White called a timeout, the Aztecs got a boost of confidence, and senior Cailin Young fed senior Courtney Robinson who scored to make it 6-3.

The Scarlet and Black thought the goal would give them momentum, but it didn’t as Kayla Derose and graduate Bea Behrins scored for the Pioneers to increase the lead to 8-3.

The Aztec defense held off the Pioneers for the remaining nine minutes and senior captain Bailey Brown scored on a free-position and off a pass from junior Camdyn O’Donnell to make it 8-5 to end the first half.

The Aztecs only had 11 fouls and two yellow cards in the first half and White loved the improved discipline.

“It felt much better,” White said. “I think the momentum of the game wasn’t affected by the fouls that we did have.”

After Behrins scored for the Pioneers and senior Julia Lytle for the Aztecs, Denver went on a 3-0 run increasing their lead to 12-6.

Balsama ended the run for the Pioneers with her goal, but Denver scored two more goals making it 14-7 at the end of the third quarter.

The Scarlet and Black started the fourth with offensive pressure when Waddell and Lytle scored to make it 14-9.

Pioneer freshman Emelia Bohi got pulled from the game after allowing nine goals and making zero saves.

Behrins stopped the momentum from the Aztecs with her goal, but Balsama and Brown closed the score with their goals and it was 15-11. 

The Aztecs wouldn’t score again as the Pioneers went on 4-0 run to end the game and claim their 10th win of the season.

Horan made 12 saves in the game and junior Victoria Macres — who substituted in for Bohi — made one save. 

White was proud of the team’s overall performance.

“I think we did well,” White said. “I think we hung with the number nine team for a very long time.”

Brown — who had three goals and one assist — said she has seen the team improve every game.

“We’re really proud that we came out and competed today,” Brown said. “We’ve been working hard together and trying to show much confidence in our teammates.”

The Scarlet and Black put up 11 goals on the Pioneers, which was the most any opponent has done this season. Balsama said it was a team effort but a need for improvement losing by eight.

“I think as a collective unit, that was the best we worked offensively as a team,” Balsama said. “We should never be satisfied, we always got to go back to the drawing board and keep working.” 

Balsama ended the game with four goals and increased her total to 44 goals on the season.

The Scarlet and Black will be heading on a five-game road trip and Balsama — who was born in Sea Isle City, N.J. — is excited to be playing on the East Coast.

“It should be fun,” Balsama said. “I’m excited to play on the East Coast again.”

Brown said playing on the East Coast is great exposure for the team. 

“I don’t think our team’s really been to New York or if we have, it’s been a long time,” Brown said. “I think this is going to be a huge opportunity to play new competition.”

The Scarlet and Black’s first stop on the road trip will be in Hamden, Conn., against the Quinnipiac Bobcats (5-3) on Wednesday, March 30.