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 lacrosse has dominant first half to defeat Lindenwood 15-9

The Aztecs’ 11 first half caused turnovers were one of the key factors for offensive possession, goal-scoring opportunities and the victory against the Lions
Victor Nyden
Senior goalkeeper Sam Horan scans the field in a game versus Lindenwood on March 23, 2023.

The San Diego State women’s lacrosse team (5-6) had a long week and a half of rest after its crushing defeat of Howard 19-2 on March 12. They returned to the Aztec Lacrosse Field for their second-to-last time this season to play the Lindenwood Lions (5-5), who were coming off a two-game winning streak and are 4-1 on the road. 

SDSU had a great first half causing turnovers and dominating offensively, leading to a six-point lead. They looked a lot different in the second half defensively, not crashing enough and playing tall with their sticks high, but senior goalkeeper Sam Horan made quality saves in the last 30 minutes. The Aztecs won 15-9.

Graduate midfielder Lexy Biller won the opening draw and took Lindenwood to the offensive end. Then, sophomore attacker Isabella Rulapaugh got the scoring started with her goal.

The game was back and forth early in the first period with the Lions getting two-goal leads twice, but after Lindenwood junior attacker Logann Eldredge scored her second of the game at the 5:27 mark to make 4-2, the Aztecs pulled momentum their way.

The Aztecs won consistent draw controls and sophomore midfielder Emma Betts scored twice to tie the game at 4-4.

After Lindenwood senior midfielder Emma Arnold cross-checked senior attacker Deanna Balsama up high as she was rushing to the net, Arnold was given a yellow card at the 3:19 mark. Balsama had the free position attempt and was ready when the whistle blew. She buried it in the top left corner to give SDSU their first lead of the game, 5-4. Three minutes later, the first period ended and SDSU was up by one.

Redshirt freshman Kate Christos got the scoring started in the second period for the Aztecs. Then, after Arnold scored for the Lions to make 6-5, SDSU caught fire offensively.

The Scarlet and Black were great on both sides of the ball, scoring five-straight goals and causing 11 turnovers. Balsama and senior attacker Caitlin Jones scored twice, then the first half was capped off with a beautiful pass by senior midfielder Cailin Young to senior attacker Brooklyne Waddell for a goal.

The score was 11-5 at the end of the first half.

Despite the Aztecs’ offensive advantage, both teams squared even on draw controls at nine apiece. SDSU picked up four more ground balls than Lindenwood in the first half.

Lindenwood graduate goalkeeper Eleanor Kast started the third period with two strong saves before senior midfielder Sam Irwin got the scoring started for the Lions to make it 11-6. It was the team’s first goal since the 10:38 mark of the second period.

After the goal, head coach Kylee White was displeased with the Aztec defense and told them to get organized.

The first 10:16 of the third period was all Lindenwood until SDSU junior midfielder Mia Kohn scored to make it 12-6.

White called a timeout after Biller made it 12-7 with her goal. Then, the Aztecs finished the third period with two-straight goals by senior attacker Sydney Wolfington and Young.

Being seven goals down, the Lions needed everything to go their way on the draw and to be lights out on both sides of the ball. They were off to a good start with Eldredge’s third goal of the game, but the Aztec defense stayed strong and Horan made big saves. 

Balsama scored her fifth goal of the game (her 36th this season) to make it 15-8 at the 8:50 mark of the fourth, then Irwin scored one more for the Lions. Horan did not let anymore past her and SDSU won 15-9 and the long week and half off paid off Wednesday afternoon.

“It is hard being off for that long,” White said postgame. “I thought even in the beginning, like the first set of defense had to try and get back into that competitive aggressive gameplay. But I was really happy with our offense, running the plays like really carrying over the things we had been working on in practice into the game. That was fantastic.”

Biller, who led the team with 64 draw controls coming into the game, finished with one goal and led the Lions with six draw controls. White was proud of the midfielders and how assistant head coach Brandi Padilla got them ready to face Biller on the draw.

“We did a lot of scouting on her, taking a lot of draws in her seven years of college,” White said. “I think Brandi did a great job of preparing our midfield for that and they were dialed in with what the game plan was, every draw control is a possession and every possession matters for us.” 

The Aztecs outdrew Lindenwood 15-13, a statistic that really shows how a team wins a game, but it was not the main statistic that stood out. SDSU’s 11 caused turnovers (all coming in the first half) and the ability for the attackers and midfielders, who had eight of the 11 caused turnovers, to slash the opponent’s stick clean while behind them was impressive.

“I think getting caused turnovers, especially as attackers, is a huge momentum shift just to get back on offense,” Balsama said postgame. “I think in the second half, we were trying to hustle to the other 30, get that caused turnover, but they were also fighting back.”

Besides Balsama, seven different Aztec players scored. Eldredge led the Lions with three goals, while five different players scored for Lindenwood.

The Aztecs head on a roadtrip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next week for two games; one at Drexel on March 28 and the other at Saint Joseph’s on March 30.

About the Contributor
Adam Correa
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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SDSU lacrosse has dominant first half to defeat Lindenwood 15-9