MARCY, N.Y. – SUNYIT rookie attacker Krysta Beha (Marcy, N.Y. / Whitesboro) had an impressive debut performance in SUNYIT's (1-0, 0-0) home opener Saturday, tying a SUNYIT record with 8 goals and setting a new record for points in a game with 12 during a 19-4 Wildcat win over Hilbert.
SUNYIT immediately jumped out to a 4-0 lead, with Beha netting 3 of SUNYIT's first 4 goals. Last year's NEAC Rookie of the Year and 2013 leading scorer for the Wildcats, Laura Tolbert (Clay, N.Y. / Cicero-North Syracuse) had an immediate chemistry with SUNYIT's new rookie, assisting on Beha's third goal with 23:32 to play in the first half, which gave SUNYIT a 4-0 lead. In fact, all of Tolbert's three assists on the day went to Beha, as the sophomore did a good job of controlling the ball from behind the net and finding open cutters. Tolbert would also add a score of her own to finish the day with 1 goal and 3 assists.
Down 4-0, the Hawks mounted a comeback. A free position shot by Nikki Schneider gave Hilbert's it's first goal with 21:48 to go in the first, and the visiting team would follow that up with two more scores to force a SUNYIT timeout. Whatever first year coach Erin Schurr said during the break, it must have worked, as the Wildcats scored almost immediately out of the play stoppage on a nifty play between senior co-captain Taviot Jackowski (LaFayette, N.Y. / LaFayette) and rookie Emma Larson (Miller Place, N.Y. / Miller Place). Jackowski made a long pass from behind the net to a cutting Larson, who caught the ball despite heavy traffic and in one-motion slammed home her first goal from just in front of the cage. The play sparked a 7-1 SUNYIT run to end the half, as Beha would go on to add another 2 goals to go with a pair from Ana Exposto (Lisbon, Portugal / Amer. Int'l School of Mozambique), as well as the first career goal by rookie midfielder Nicole DiPiazza (Colonie, N.Y. / Colonie), and finally Tolbet's first goal of 2014.
With the big run to end the half, the second period was largely academic as SUNYIT clamped down on defense, completing the rout 19-4.
Beha's 8 goal, 4 assist performance (12 points) is the most points scored by a single player in the 3-year history of the women's lacrosse program at SUNYIT, and her 8 goals equal a mark set by Tolbert last year. The rookie's big day didn't just extend to scoring, however, as she also led all players with 10 draw controls; SUNYIT held a 17-8 advantage over Hilbert in that category on the day.
Also contributing big statistical days for the Wildcats were Jackowski, who finished with 3 goals and an assist, and DiPiazza who finished with 3 scores. Behind Beha, Tolbert and Larson were the top facilitators, as each finished the game with 1 goal and 3 assists.
Though she wasn't much tested, Cassidy Thompson (Weedsport, N.Y. / Weedsport) had a solid game between the pipes, turning away over half of the 9 shots she faced to finish with 5 saves on the game.
This is the first of the women's lacrosse program's three seasons in which the team has opened the year with a win. The Wildcats will look to keep the momentum as they host Bard College this coming Wednesday, March 26, for another home game. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Wildcat Field.