It took nearly six hours, but on Sunday, April 14 of 2013, the Stetson lacrosse team (1-13, 1-2) earned the first victory in program history, defeating Kennesaw State (1-8, 1-2) by a score of 19-7 at the Stetson Athletics Training Center.
“They played well with each other,” Stetson head coach Nicole Moore said of the Hatters. “They played with heart, passion. There wasn’t any hesitation in their decision making. We had solid performance across the board from all of our players. It was a definite team effort. It shows the potential and the future of this program.”
The lengthy event was due to multiple weather delays, the first of which lasted three hours and 20 minutes. The Hatters thrived under the adverse conditions. Tied 4-4 with 10:03 remaining in the first half when play was halted the first time, Stetson took control following the break.
Freshman Maylis Broderick scored on a free position within a minute of resuming play, and assisted on a goal by freshman Noelle Morabito less than five minutes later. Freshman Danielle Horgan scored on a free position of her own with 2:53 to play to give Stetson a 7-4 lead late in the first half.
Kennesaw State countered with a score of its own, but Stetson ended the half with two more, the first by freshman Mary Kate O’Sullivan and assisted by sophomore Samantha Akl, and the second was another by Broderick.
The Hatters weren’t close to done there. In fact, Stetson scored 10 straight goals, beginning with the final two from the first half, to take a commanding 17-5 lead with 13:55 to play in the game. O’Sullivan scored four goals during the run by herself. The 10 goal stretch amounted to more offensive ouput than the Hatters had accumulated in a single game before Sunday.
From there Stetson cruised to the 19-7 victory, but the finish didn’t come without its own share of dramatics. The lone senior in this first year program, formerly a member of the Stetson club lacrosse program, Kristina Cicchetti scored the final goal of the game for the Hatters with just 3:03 to play in the contest.
Competing in just her fifth game of the season, and getting her first start on Senior Day, Cicchetti couldn’t have been more excited about the whole experience, including the late-game score.
“It was amazing,” Cicchetti explained. “This is seriously the best day ever. I’m just so glad that all of our hard work has finally [culminated] with that big W, and it feels so good. It’s great.”
There were a number of Hatters who contributed to Sunday’s big win, but maybe none more than Broderick. The midfielder scored four goals, assisted on two others, picked up an astounding eight ground balls, gathered four draw controls, and caused five turnovers.
Broderick has now scored in six straight games, and 10 out of Stetson’s last 11 contests. The freshman has totaled nine goals in the last three games alone.
It was O’Sullivan who led the team in scoring on Sunday though. The attacker totaled a program-best five goals and added one assist. Freshman Paige Levesque and Horgan chipped in with three goals apiece. Akl led the team with four assists on the night.
Freshman Caili Guilday played the entire game in the goal for Stetson, recording six saves while allowing only seven goals, a season-best for the Hatters. Kennesaw State’s Beth Cochran also stopped six shots in all 60 minutes.
Stetson outshot the Owls 28-17, picked up 22 ground balls to KSU’s 13, and was a perfect 14-for-14 on clear attempts. The Hatters also took advantage of their free positions, going 6-for-9 on the night. Kennesaw was only 2-for-5 in the category, and just 6-for-17 on clear attempts.
The Hatters will attempt to use this first ever victory as momentum when they travel to Howard for an Atlantic Sun Conference contest next weekend. Stetson takes on the Bison Friday at 5:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.