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Public Affairs : Army Women's Lacrosse beats Air Force, 11-8

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The Army Women's Lacrosse Team overcame a two-point deficit in the first half and delivered a powerhouse performance to
beat the U.S. Air Force Academy team under the lights of Daly Field Nov. 2.
Army Women's Lacrosse beats Air Force, 11-8

Story and photos by Mike Strasser

Assistant Editor

Elation. The feeling was in abundance at Daly Field Nov. 2 following the Army Women’s Lacrosse win over the U.S. Air Force Academy 11-8.

Other emotions poured over as well.

Relief. The West Point cadets on this team had never experienced a loss against their academy rival, and it seemed early on in the contest that was about to change. The Falcons shell-shocked Army by capitalizing on fast-break scoring opportunities and never relinquished the lead in the first half.

Confidence. Despite the lackluster start, Army showed no signs of despair on the field or sidelines. It would have been easy to concede and accept the drubbing as a lesson learned. Instead, they were determined to battle on and win.

Pride. The freshmen played for the first time representing the Army and West Point, a fact made even more significant since it was an inter-service rivalry. Head coach John Pellino described the game as a barometer which would gauge the team’s progress thus far in pre-season practice. If so, the temperature went from stone cold to blazing hot.

“We played a little tentative in the first half, and it looked like they were just getting their sea legs,” Pellino said. “We had a slow start last year when we played Air Force. Similar to that, we were able to pick up the intensity later on.”

Senior Cory Trainor amassed the most shots on goal and scored twice in the second half for her efforts.

“It feels great to get that first win, especially considering we were down that first half and came back to rally,” Trainor said. “It was a great game.”

Trainor said spirits were high 24 hours earlier when the team brought an unusual amount of energy to practice. However, the excitement of playing Air Force and team jitters proved detrimental in their opening performance.

“We were dropping easy passes and doing the little things that showed we were a little over-excited,” Trainor said. “Coming into the second half, we were calmer, more settled and played our game. We were still pumped up but we did what we needed to do.”

Junior Katherine Doody led the team in scoring with three goals and freshman Kara Hericks scored a pair in her first Army game.

“As a plebe it was a real honor just to play,” Hericks said. “Coach Pellino did a great job making sure everyone had an opportunity to play and contribute to the win.”

Having played lacrosse for several years, Hericks wasn’t “This was just an exciting game for the team and for me personally,” Hericks said. “I’ve been thinking about this all day, all week.”

Freshman Alexandra Deets scored a goal and was a major contributor on the draw, Pellino said. Sophomore Chanice Alexander provided tireless coverage in the midfield. Senior Jordan Reilly and sophomores Cassie Jones and Erin Kelly also contributed a goal apiece.

Junior goalies Hope Mango and Calla Glavin recorded six and four saves in the first half, respectively. Air Force had a 15-11 edge on shots on goals in the first, but then Army had the 17-7 advantage in the second.

“Air Force is probably our biggest game of the season, and it’s the only one we play in the fall,” senior co-captain Kiley Hunkler said. “It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the workouts through the winter and preparation for the season in the spring.”

Hunkler said it is tradition for cadets to sew a star on their jacket for every win against Air Force. That was certainly a motivating factor for them, along with team dinners and a regular email stream to keep everyone focused.

“This year in particular, we are focused on the teamwork,” Hunkler said. “As opposed to focusing on individuals, we have really worked as a team to try and bring everyone up to the same skill levels.”

When they’re not practicing lacrosse, the team trains together for the Army Physical Fitness Test, the Indoor Obstacle Course Test and other physical education requirements.

“I think the big reason I chose to play lacrosse is that I knew I would be successful in other pillars at the academy,” Hunkler said. “The resources the team provides and the support we build together is amazing.”

Senior co-captain Noreen Masciello said the team could be defined this season by its cohesiveness and the “big event” against Air Force was their first opportunity to demonstrate it.

“It’s our first real chance to show what we can do in front of everyone at West Point, as opposed to proving it to ourselves,” Masciello, who scored one goal against Air Force, said.

Trainor said being able to sweep Air Force all four years at the academy is an important goal for the seniors. There was also an undeniable sense of fellowship between the two cadet teams, who, after fighting fiercely moments before, huddled together against the night’s bitter chill to enjoy a post-game tailgate party.

“It’s a good experience getting to host Air Force here because we’ve been playing against some of these girls for four years,” Trainor said. “It’s pretty cool for us to all be together again and have some friendly competition.”
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   In what was shaping up to be a highly-competitive Army-Air Force weekend 
   at West Point, the Army Women’s Lacrosse team added to a string of victories
   for the U.S. Military Academy after the 11-8 win over the Air Force Academy 
   Nov. 2 at Daly Field.

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The West Point Women’s Lacrosse team returned from a two-point deficit in the
first half to defeat the U.S. Air Force Academy team at Daly Field Nov. 2, 11-8.
The Army seniors have never posted a loss against the Falcons, and for the
freshmen, it was their first taste of victory.

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The speed of junior Maggie Edens was used to Army’s advantage en route to a win
over Air Force Nov. 2 at Daly Field. Air Force had a 15-11 edge on shots on goal in the
first half, but the resilient Army Women’s Lacrosse Team had a 17-7 advantage in the
second half.

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For the West Point seniors who've never experience a loss against Air Force, it was
a shocking first half when the Falcons dominated Daly Field Nov. 2 for a 6-4 lead. The
Army Women's Lacrosse team would retaliate with senior Cory Trainor contributing
 two goals and an assist, and junior Katherine Doody recording three goals in the 11-8
 win to keep their streak alive.

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Elation on the field was abundant--and for the fans on the sidelines, too--as the Army Women's Lacrosse team secured an 11-8 win over the Air Force Academy Nov. 2 in
their first contest under the lights at Daly Field. Despite a shocking 6-4 deficit in the
first half, Army rallied for the comeback win to keep the streak alive against their academy rivals.