San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

SDSU women’s lacrosse drops first two games of the season at No. 14 Notre Dame and Marquette

After the Aztecs took a brutal opening 18-2 loss to No. 14 Notre Dame, they could not finish the weekend off with a win, losing 20-13 to Marquette.
Victor Nyden
Junior attack Brook Waddell sans the field in an exhibition against Claremont on Feb. 4, 2023.

The SDSU women’s lacrosse team (0-2) started its second year as an independent team with two losses; one at Notre Dame (an 18-2 loss) and the other at Marquette (a 20-13 loss).

SDSU at #16 Notre Dame on Feb. 10

The Aztecs took on the then ranked No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a team who finished No. 20 in the Rating Percentage Index rankings last season. Senior attacker Caitlin Jones said after their 21-7 exhibition match win against the Claremont Mudd-Scripps Athenas that the level of confidence the team has will show on the field.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to start out strong,” Jones said. “I know this team. We work really hard, and I don’t know if Notre Dame is going to be ready for that.”

Playing a highly ranked opponent brings experience and the opportunity to see where the team is at currently and where it could be.

“I think it’s a great way to measure where we are in preseason and build from there,” head coach Kylee White said at practice on Jan. 23. “Playing a team that’s highly ranked and has great history I think is a good challenge.”

It was a good challenge indeed, but not the outcome the Aztecs wanted. Notre Dame defeated SDSU 18-2, as draw controls were hard to possess and the Scarlet and Black had trouble scoring against great defense.

In the first five and a half minutes it looked like it was going to be a very defensive battle, as both teams couldn’t score. Finally, junior midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty of the Fighting Irish skipped one past senior goalkeeper Sam Horan at the 9:06 mark of the first period to open up the floodgates.

Notre Dame continued to retain draw controls and pick up ground balls which helped them lead to four straight goals after Doherty got it started to make it 5-0.

Once Jones possessed a draw control around the five-minute mark of the first period, junior attacker Brook Waddell scored the Aztecs’ first goal after a mad scramble for the ball to make it 5-1.

Waddell’s goal did not spark momentum. Notre Dame continued to dominate offensively and scored four more goals, finishing the first period up 8-1.

Just like the score, the Fighting Irish led on draw controls (8-1) in the first period, a key factor to Notre Dame’s goal scoring opportunities.

In the second period, SDSU had some good looks to score early but could not execute and once the clock hit 11:04, Notre Dame was off and running again. The game started to get out of hand at 12-1 when junior attacker Abby Maichin scored her first goal of the season and senior attackers Madison Ahern and Jackie Wolak then combined for three goals.

The Aztec defense started to crash the Notre Dame players well in the remaining seven minutes of the second period and stopped the bleeding. 

SDSU had five second period shots on goal (seven total) that failed to get past junior goalkeeper Lilly Callahan. She finished the first half with six saves. While Horan struggled to stop Notre Dame midfielders’ and attackers’ wicked shots on goal, but made six saves.

The first goal of the third period did not come until the 8:12 mark. Senior attacker Jane McAvoy, from behind the net, passed to senior midfielder Kasey Choma who quickly released a shot past Horan as she was falling down to make it 13-1.

After junior midfielder Kelly Denes scored her first goal of the season to make it 14-1, Aztec senior attacker Deanna Balsama, who was double teamed all night, finally got a free position shot to go in the net. The score was 14-2 at the end of the third period.

At the 11:32 mark of the fourth period, Ahern got her fourth goal of the game bringing the score to 15-2. 

SDSU was not able to get anything going offensively in the fourth period and drew a few bad fouls as Notre Dame tacked on three more goals to make the final score 18-2.

The key statistic of the game that heavily favored Notre Dame was draw controls. They won 19 to SDSU’s four.

The Fighting Irish caused eight of the Aztecs’ 14 turnovers, while SDSU caused seven of Notre Dame’s 13 turnovers.

The Fighting Irish also out shot the Aztecs tremendously (39-13) with 29 of them on goal and SDSU putting 11 of them on goal.

Horan finished with 11 saves and Callahan had nine.  

SDSU at Marquette on Feb. 12

One of the two home wins last season for the Aztecs was against the Marquette Golden Eagles, where they won 18-12 behind a seven-goal performance from former attacker Camdyn O’Donnell.

The Scarlet and Black held a 2-0 record against the Golden Eagles coming into the game but as White said at practice on Jan. 23, Marquette is a tough opponent and plays like Notre Dame.

“They’re a similar type of team; gritty, hard working,” White said. “A lot of respect to their head coach who I have known for a very long time, so that’s just a great match-up of battling to the end.”

The Aztecs tried to make a push in the second half but came up seven goals short and lost to Marquette 20-13 for the first time in the school’s history.

San Diego State got the scoring started with Waddell’s second goal of the season, set up by senior midfielder Cailin Young.

Horan was a brick wall in the first period with 10 saves, but Marquette senior midfielder Lydia Foust and senior attacker Mary Schumar knocked down those bricks with a goal each.

SDSU struggled to get offensive possession in the first period because they were 4-12 on clear attempts with nine turnovers. The Golden Eagles were a perfect 5-5 on clear attempts and had most of the offensive possession.

After senior attacker Shea Garcia made it 3-1 with her goal early in the second period, SDSU tried to keep it close.

At the 13:31 mark of the second, the Aztecs got a good clear out of their zone, took the ball down the field and Balsama was fouled by sophomore defender Molly Powers. She received a free position attempt and buried it to make it 3-2.

SDSU could not gain momentum off Balsama’s goal, as Foust and Schumar scored to increase it to 5-2.

After Powers was assessed a yellow card at the 11:11 mark of the second for Marquette, the Scarlet and Black were a player up and had offensive possession. Waddell capitalized with her goal to make it 5-3.

Yet, Marquette started to drown SDSU with consistent draw controls and five straight goals to put the score at 10-3.

At the 2:07 mark of the second period, Waddell put in her third goal of the afternoon, but the Golden Eagles tacked on two more to lead 12-4 at halftime.

The main statistic of the first half was draw controls and shots on goal, heavily favoring the Golden Eagles. They had 14 draw controls to the Aztecs’ four and 25 shots on goal to SDSU’s seven.

Horan made three more saves in the second period to bring her total to 13 saves by halftime. Marquette sophomore goaltender Brynna Nixon only had to make three saves.

Foust led the way for her team with four goals, one assist and five shots on goal by halftime.

Marquette freshman attacker Tess Osburn got the scoring started in the third period. Then the game started to become more defensive for about six minutes until junior midfielder Mia Kohn put in a free-position goal for the Aztecs.

Foust then continued her fine firing with her fifth goal of the game to make it 14-5.

Both Marquette senior attacker Hannah Greving and Waddell traded goals by the end of the third period as the Golden Eagles led 15-6.

Balsama buried two goals early in the fourth period as a draw control and a caused turnover came in handy. SDSU was down by seven.

Marquette sophomore attacker Meg Bireley stopped the Aztecs’ small run with a goal, but then sophomore midfielder Emma Betts gave one right back. Marquette led 16-9.

After Foust scored her sixth goal of the game at the 11:52 mark of the fourth, SDSU started rolling again with goals from Balsama, redshirt freshman midfielder Kate Christos and junior attacker Sara Toner to cut the Golden Eagles’ lead to five.

The Aztecs were not able to get much closer, even with senior midfielder Katelyn Murphy’s goal, as Marquette tacked on three more goals to defeat SDSU for the first time in the school’s history with a final score of 20-13.

A big reason for the Golden Eagles’ success was draw controls. They had 25 of them and SDSU had 12.

Foust had a great game with seven goals and Garcia was stellar as well with four goals, two assists and three caused turnovers.

Waddell and Balsama both had four goals and combined for 11 points.

Horan was three saves away from tying her school record that she set against Princeton last season (21 saves), as she finished the game with 18 while opposing keeper Nixon ended with seven saves.

The Aztecs head back to San Diego to play nine-straight home games and their first home match is against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday, Feb.17.

About the Contributor
Adam Correa, Senior Staff Writer
Adam is a senior at San Diego State University studying journalism and media studies. This is his second year with The Daily Aztec. He loves watching sports, reading, and going to the gym in his free time. He mainly writes for the sports section, but also loves doing on-camera reporting and multimedia content. He previously was the assistant sports editor and blog editor for The Telescope newspaper at Palomar College. In the summer of 2022, he did an internship with Thesocialtalks digital newspaper, where he wrote for the latest news, opinion, and sports section. When he graduates from San Diego State University, he wants to be a sports writer for a popular newspaper organization or a sports reporter for a tv station.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
SDSU women’s lacrosse drops first two games of the season at No. 14 Notre Dame and Marquette