Mesa lacrosse team shows progress in second loss to Lindenwood
The Mesa State College women’s lacrosse team showed its improvement.
Facing a Lindenwood University team that had beaten them 18-3 in the first game of the season, the Mavs started fast Friday in their first home game before fading in a 17-12 loss.
“No matter what the scorebook says I still feel like we won,” Mesa State coach Abigail Simpson said. “It was two different games.”
Simpson said Lindenwood coach Jack Cribbin commented about the difference in the Mavericks from their Feb. 25 game.
“He said it was night and day,” Simpson said. “He could see our improvement, and I was happy with that.”
The Mavericks (0-4) jumped to a 4-0 lead on goals from Taylor Lansdown, Alexis Rawlings and two from Allie Henderson.
“We came out pumped to be playing on our own field,” Rawlings said. “We wanted to get a quick lead and try to hold it.”
Mesa’s lead didn’t last as the Lions (6-1) scored five goals in a 10-minute span, including two from Justiene Groothuis, to go ahead 5-4.
The two teams traded goals the rest of the first half, with the Mavericks’ Amanda Simon scoring the final goal of the first half to tie the game at 7-7.
Lindenwood scored the first goal of the second half, but Mesa State answered with goals from Lansdown and Rawlings to take a 9-8 lead with 23 minutes remaining.
Rawlings led the Mavericks with four goals in the game.
“Alexis is a phenomenal player,” Simpson said. “She has such finesse out there and she knows where to place the ball.”
The Lions responded with three goals in two minutes to go ahead 11-9.
“It starts with ball control, we have to control the draw,” Simpson said. “But once they get it into our defense we have to make sure we are working as a team.” Mesa State got within one goal at 12-11 when Henderson scored with 15 minutes remaining. Henderson, a freshman from Chaparral, had three goals.
Groothuis broke open the game with two goals, helping the Lions eventually push to a 16-11 lead.
“We have improved tremendously,” Mesa State goalie Lauren Wells said. “We looked like a whole new team today, and played with a lot more confidence.”
Wells finished with 16 saves on the Lions’ 41 shots.
“The girls started to get frustrated and by the middle of the second half they were out of gas,” Simpson said. “But I feel much better about this game.”