Women’s Lacrosse Falls Short Against Drexel, 9-8

PHILADELPHIA – UMBC women's lacrosse's senior midfielder Kristen Bilney (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) tallied her second hat trick of the season, but the Retrievers fell short in a battle against Drexel, 9-8, on Saturday afternoon at Vidas Field.

The Retrievers outscored Drexel, 6-5, in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome being held scoreless for the opening 24:32 of the contest. UMBC held a 22-20 shot advantage in the contest and forced the Dragons into 15 turnovers. Drexel controlled the draw, pulling in 16-of-19 draw controls.

Bilney was one of three Retrievers that registered three points in the contest. Junior midfielder Alyssa Semones (Westminster, Md./Westminster/Penn State) tabbed a pair of goals and one assist, while junior attacker Abby Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) dished out three helpers in the contest.

The Dragons snap a three game losing streak to improve to 3-3 on the year, while the Retrievers fall to 2-4 on the season.

Drexel struck for three of its four first-half goals in the opening five minutes of action. Junior midfielder Joelle Hartke scored her ninth goal of the year following a UMBC turnover 1:47 into the contest. Nearly two minutes later, senior attacker Kelly Palace scored with a man advantage, her team-leading 11th of the season. Hartke grabbed control of the ensuing draw to setup an Alissa Watts goal to give the Dragons a 3-0 advantage.

The Retrievers regrouped and were able to hold Drexel to one more score in the period, this one coming from sophomore midfielder Emily Duffey with 14:48 left in the opening half. UMBC was able to get on the board late in the first period when Bilney connected on her first of three goals. Senior attacker Shannon Harkey (Purcellville, Va./Loudon Valley/Florida) helped the Retrievers get within two, 4-2, before the break, drilling home a long shot with 56 seconds to go in the period.

The Retrievers continued their run into the second half, as Wilson dished to freshman midfielder Amber Kovalick (Davidsonville, Md./South River) for the score 1:18 into the half. Bilney tied the contest at four 1:07 later with a free position goal, her second score of the contest.

Duffey slipped one past second-half goalkeeper Kelly Gielner (Pasadena, Md./St. Mary's), for her second of the game, to take the lead back for the Dragons, 5-4, with 21:54 to go. It took a little over two minutes for the Retrievers to tie the contest up again, as freshman Caroline Haggerty (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll School) gathered a pass from Semones and punched home her third goal in the last three games.

The Dragons responded with back-to-back goals, starting with a free position score 34 seconds after Haggerty's game-tying goal, from senior midfielder Amanda Norcini. It took freshman midfielder Carolina Thiele 1:06 to give Drexel back a two-goal advantage, but the Retrievers were not done yet. Sophomore attacker Rachel Benzing (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) brought UMBC back within one, 7-6, with 16:47 to go with her second goal of the season. Semones followed with her third point of the game, connecting on a pass from Wilson, to tie the game at seven apiece.

Palace tried to put the Retrievers away, scoring back-to-back goals to give Drexel another two-goal advantage, 9-7, with 6:01 to go, but Bilney struck again to keep UMBC within striking distance with 5:05 remaining. The Retrievers caused a Drexel turnover with 39 seconds to go in the contest, but were unable to capitalize with the game-tying goal in the final possession.

Drexel goalkeeper Teresha Bradley (3-3) made nine saves on the afternoon in the win, while Anna Barnett (Midland, Texas/Midland) and Gielner combined for five stops on the day.

UMBC returns to action on Saturday, March 15 when it travels to take on Mount St. Mary's.