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Brockport rally comes up short

By: Liam Hoffmann

BROCKPORT, NY-- Brockport women's lacrosse lost their first contest of the season Saturday at the hands of the Ithaca Bombers, 16-12. Ithaca entered the contest as the No. 19 team in Division III. Sarah Kilburn, a transfer from Canisius, made her Brockport debut and scored four goals with three coming off free-position shots.

"I hadn't been there for the first few weeks of practice, but they welcomed me right back in, and it felt really good to go back out on the field after a few years," Kilburn said.

Kilburn is a member of both Brockport's women's lacrosse and swimming and diving teams. She did not participate in Brockport's season-opening win over U of R because she spent last weekend at the SUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championships in Buffalo. Kilburn last played lacrosse as a first-year at Canisius in 2022.

Kilburn directing her team. Photo Credit: Liv Metz, Brockport Athletics

Kilburn scores four goals and had an assist for five points on the day. Cassidy Burnash poured in a hat trick of her own to go along with four helpers, seven total points, and three ground balls. Alayna Foos and Tristan Davis each scored a pair of goals. Foos also forced three turnovers. Goalie Arianna Reed, fresh off of being awarded SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Week, played all 60 minutes and recorded 10 saves.

For the Bombers, Caroline Wise (5+2) and Maizy Veitch (2+5) had seven points apiece. Wise also led the team in ground balls with four. Chloe Nordyke, Lily Cody and Maddie Hall each scored two goals.

Wise also entered the game as a known dominant draw-taker. She had 11 against Scranton in Ithaca's opener.

Ithaca returned 21 players from 2023 compared to eight returners for the Golden Eagles. This experience discrepancy glared most in the early second quarter when Ithaca created an insurmountable lead.

Ithaca broke the scoring seal 73 seconds into the game. Caroline Wise found the back of the net via a Maizy Veitch feed from behind the goal. Wise ended the game with five goals and two assists with seven shots fired on goal. Her second goal was the second of the game, unassisted less than two minutes after the first.

Brockport got on the board when Tristan Davis scored her fourth goal of the young season. Burnash's first assist came on this goal. Wise won the ensuing draw and Ithaca's offense capitalized when Sydney Phillips, assisted by Wise, found paydirt.

Tristan Davis. Photo Credit: Liv Metz, Brockport Athletics

Down the stretch of quarter one, Paige Thowe scored Brockport's second goal. Ithaca found the back of the net twice more making the score 5-2 before the contest reached the next period.

The early second quarter was where the game got away from Brockport, even if things were back-and-forth after that point. Five turnovers characterized what was overall not a smooth offensive quarter for Brockport. They didn't score for the first 13 and a half minutes. Leigh Naturale, Lexi Kellish, Lily Cody, Veitch, and Wise each scored a goal that created a 5-0 scoring run for Ithaca that began the quarter.

The run was broken by Kilburn on her first free position goal of the game with 74 seconds left in the half. With the help of Burnash, Kilburn scored again before the half would expire.

Quarter three began much quieter than that of the first two. The first goal didn't come until Kilburn earned another free position look just over five minutes in. Her high-velocity rip, that worked on her first free position look, beat Ithaca goalie Lexi Held again. Foos continued her arc of second-half scoring that was shown against U of R by getting her fourth goal of the year unassisted 40 seconds later, cutting the deficit to four.

"We're really happy to have [Kilburn] back," Davis said. "Swimming took her for a little but, you know, now we're going to be on a roll."

Alayna Foos working against Maggie Mandel. Photo Credit: Liv Metz, Brockport Athletics

Following Wise's fourth goal of the game, Kilburn assisted Foos in scoring her second goal which kept the second half tight. In the final four and a half minutes of the third, Bombers Hall and Veitch each scored their second goal of the afternoon which left the score 13-7 in Ithaca's favor with 15 minutes to go.

Burnash took some inspiration from Kilburn and scored a free position goal of her own with less than 90 seconds gone in the fourth. A minute later, Cody scored her second and began a run of three straight Ithaca goals over about two minutes that proved to put Brockport away.

"We're all so versatile," Kilburn said. "We can shoot from anywhere. I think it's really good to have everybody out there, have options, so that we can have each person contribute."

The Golden Eagles wouldn't go down without a fight, however, as they finished the game on a run of their own facing a 16-8 disadvantage. Kilburn converted on her final free position shot of the outing beginning the run. Burnash followed it up three minutes later with a pair of unassisted goals. Burnash also was the assister on Brockport's only man-up goal of the game which was scored by Davis after Ithaca's Kaitlyn Russell was hit with a yellow card. That made the score 16-12 and it held until the clock reached zero.

"We can compete," Davis said. "And we will compete when it comes to the future."

Cassidy Burnash at GLE. Photo Credit: Liv Metz, Brockport Athletics

Brockport drops to 1-1 as they navigate their out-of-conference schedule. They'll play their first road contest of the season on Wed. March 6 against the RIT Tigers. Listen to that game live on 89.1 the Point with the pregame show beginning at 3:45 p.m. First draw is set for 4 p.m.

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