Lacrosse comes back in home opener for 14-13 win over Arizona State


Photo courtesy of Sam Mayo

Natalie Peel drives the ball up field during the Aztecs 14-13 victory over Arizona State on Feb. 17 at the Aztec Lacrosse Field.

by Kyle Betz, Staff Writer

SDSU women’s lacrosse led Arizona State University by a score of 12-9 with under 10 minutes left in the second half of Saturday’s home opener.

Cue four unanswered goals by ASU, and the Aztecs facing a 13-12 deficit with just over three minutes to play.

SDSU would need to make a comeback of their own, and did just that after an unassisted goal from junior midfielder Harlowe Steele and a game-winning free-position shot goal by junior midfielder Natalie Peel gave the Aztecs a 14-13 victory.

SDSU’s record improved to 2-0, while ASU fell to 2-1 in their first year as an NCAA program.

Steele said that the Aztecs were not underestimating their first-year opponent.

“Since ASU is a first-year program, we didn’t want to treat them like they were bad,” Steele said. “We wanted to come out and give them our all and respect them as a team. I think we did that. They came out and played really hard, but we’re just really glad to pull out the win.”

Steele netted five goals, while Peel, junior midfielder Jill Haight, and sophomore midfielder Ryli Quinn scored two goals each.

Steele was coming off a four goal performance in the Aztecs’ season opening victory over Cal on Feb. 11, and now has nine goals in two games this season.

Aztecs junior goalkeeper Katy Sharretts recorded nine saves against an ASU attack led by Kerri Clayton, who scored four goals.

Steele believes the Aztecs still have room for improvement, despite winning both games they have played this season.

“I think we can learn from this. It definitely was a close game, but I think we’re working well at the end of games and keeping our lead,” Steele said. “We just need to keep focusing and keep working hard on the stuff we can control.”

Junior attacker Kirstie Greenlaw, sophomore midfielder Morgan Taylor, and junior midfielder Grace McGinty all scored first period goals for the Aztecs.

Head coach Kylee White, who has been at the helm of the program since its inception in 2010, said her team can still improve their offensive play.

“I think we played well. ASU played an outstanding game, and we played a little safer than I would’ve liked,” White said. “We took care of the ball but we needed to attack more.”

White singled out Steele and Haight as players who made a big difference in the game.

“(Steele), right now she’s just all over the field, marking up on one of their top players and scoring crucial goals for us when we need it,” White said. “(Haight) had an amazing game on the draw control. Basically, if you get the draw, you’re winning the game.”

Haight finished with a school record 12 draw controls, and said she expected ASU to play hard.

“We didn’t know how they were going to be, because they’re a new program and we know they are gritty and going to come out hard,” Haight said. “We just knew we had to come out hard, defend our field, and show them what Aztec Lacrosse is about.”

SDSU will look to continue its perfect start when they travel to Colorado take on the University of Denver on Feb. 23 and the University of Colorado on Feb. 25.