Dominant Second Half Lifts Kennesaw State Over Central Michigan

Dominant Second Half Lifts Kennesaw State Over Central Michigan

KENNESAW, Ga. – The Kennesaw State women's lacrosse team dominated the second half of Friday afternoon's game against Central Michigan, out-scoring the Chippewas 12-7 in the period to come from behind and beat CMU 19-16 and snap its three-game losing skid.

Seven Owls found the back of the net with Siena Gore (5), Abby Squires (4) and Marissa Gore (3) all recording three or more goals. Emily NapieralaAnna Giulitto and Izzy Palermo all netted two goals apiece while freshman Payton Gregory netted her first career goal.

How it Happened: The Owls (3-6, 0-1) fell behind early as CMU (3-6) netted back-to-back goals within 30 seconds of one another to take a 2-0 lead at the 27:59 mark. Marissa Gore finally got KSU on the board before two straight goals from Squires and Gregory knotted the game at 3-3 with 20 minutes still to play.

The Chippewas then fired up for a 4-0 run, scoring three goals in just over a minute to pull ahead 7-3. Giulitto brought CMU's run to an end with her 10th goal of the season, sparking a 4-0 run for the Owls. Squires, Napierala and Palermo all recorded goals during the run to put the game on level terms 7-7 with just under 10 minutes to play.

The two defenses locked it down in the final minutes of the half, with the Owl defense forcing four turnovers over the 10-minute span. CMU managed to pull in front with back-to-back goals in under a minute to take a 9-7 lead into halftime despite a flurry of missed shots from KSU in the dying seconds of the period.

The Chippewas picked up where they left off in the opening seconds of the first half, scoring at the 29:14 mark to extend their lead to three, 10-7.

Then the Owls broke through.

Siena Gore netted her first goal of the game, and then her second moments later before a free position goal from Palermo tied the game up once again 10-10. Central Michigan looked to pull ahead once again with a goal, but back-to-back scores from Squires and Siena Gore gave KSU its first lead of the game at the 22:30 mark.

KSU scored six goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, out-scoring CMU 8-2 to lead 15-11 with 16:56 still to play. The Chippewas finally ended the Owls run with a goal just under the 15-minute mark, but the Owls answered each score from CMU to maintain a three-goal lead as the two teams traded goals to close out the game.

Notes: Haley Swift logged two assists in the game to become KSU's all-time career assists leader with 55 … Siena Gore's five goals marks the fifth time this season she has netted five or more goals … this was Marissa Gore's second straight game with three goals scored, third of the season … KSU's 19 total goals marks only the second time this season they have netted more than 17 in a game … the Owls opened the second half with five goals on five shots, finishing the game with a 54.3 shooting percentage, their fourth game this year shooting over 50 percent … Payton Gregory's first career goal was also her first career shot … Marissa Gore tied her career-high with four caused turnovers while recording a team-high seven draw controls … Gore has now recorded at least five draw controls in eight games … KSU recorded 15 ground balls to mark its third straight game with 15 or more … Emily NapieralaSiena Gore and Izzy Palermo all led the way with three ground balls followed by Marissa Gore and Samantha Lecaroz with two each.

Quotes: Head Coach Laura Maness
On the team's second half scoring…
"Offensively, we really worked a lot on ball movement, on-ball movement and off-ball movement, and really working possessions and looking for good quality shots. I believe we did a much better job of that this game, it looked more fluid. We talked about confidence, we also talked a lot at practice about crashing boards, getting the rebounds and those second chance opportunities and I believe that led to us getting a lot of extra possessions."

On the scoring distribution…
"Yeah Siena [Gore] had five goals, but she didn't score much in the first half. I thought Abby [Squires] really stepped up and Marissa [Gore] stepped up, Anna [Giulitto], Emily [Napierala], Izzy [Palermo]. We really shared the ball and I believe that that made it really hard for them to predict what we were trying to do. And just looking for the matchups that we wanted and the really good takes that we wanted and I thought the girls performed well in that way."

Up next: The Owls will look to build off today's win as they turn around to host Detroit this Sunday at 12 p.m. for their Camper Reunion Day.