March 7, 2011

Fresno State Falls Short of First-Ever Victory

from press release

FRESNO, Calif. -- For nearly 58 minutes Monday afternoon, the Fresno State women's lacrosse team found itself on the verge of a major breakthrough.

The Bulldogs had Bryant on its heels and appeared to be in position to claim the first win in the program's three-year history. Despite the valiant effort, Fresno State was unable to finish the job, instead falling to Bryant 9-7 in its home opener at Bulldog Stadium. Sophomore midfielder Amanda Cross led the way with four goals.

When it was over, interim co-head coach Carlee Buck wasted little time heaping praise on the Bulldogs.

"You fought with a lot of heart," she told them. "Have we ever comet hat close? You've got to feel proud."

Indeed, rarely has Fresno State come so close to tasting victory. In three seasons, the Bulldogs have only faced a two-goal margin of defeat three times.

"I think we got some confidence by being in a close game," interim co-head coach Lindsay Gotham said. "We just need to learn what needs to be done to come out on top."

This one went down to the wire. Cross cut through the Bryant defense and worked her way to the net before firing a shot past goalie Lauren Filippone to cut the lead to 7-6 with 8 minutes to play. But every time Fresno State inched its way closer, Bryant issued a deflating response, as Katherine Keckeisen fielded a pass from Haley Bloom to push the lead to two.

The Bulldogs continued to push, and sophomore midfielder Natalie Harrington gave Fresno State some life with a goal to trim Bryant's lead to 8-7 with 2:16 left. Once again, Bryant responded with a game-ending dagger.

The Bulldogs outshot Bryant 22-21, and Krisdina Gehring and Rachel Minarovich added one goal apiece.

"We just weren't finishing," Buck said. "We had a couple of turnovers. Really, we just need to finish. ... We came out hard on every draw, and we're finally learning how to execute offensively. I'm proud of our effort as far as that goes."

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