City College women’s lacrosse drops season opener

City+College+lacrosse+player+Megan+McCullough+%28No.+8%29+races+to+catch+the+ball+against+College+of+St.+Benedict+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+14%2C+2014%2C+at+La+Playa+Stadium+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.++The+Vaqueros+lost+10-8.+

Dani Novoa

City College lacrosse player Megan McCullough (No. 8) races to catch the ball against College of St. Benedict on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Vaqueros lost 10-8.

Wyley Welch, Channels Staff

The City College women’s club lacrosse team got off to a tough start in the opener of the Santa Barbara Shootout losing 10-8 to College of Saint Benedict Friday, Feb. 14, at La Playa Stadium.

Coming off an amazing season last year, in which the Vaqueros made it to the Western Women’s Lacrosse League Division II Championship, expectations were high going into the game.

The temperature at La Playa would be as high as those expectations, as the heat and lack of players for the Vaqueros ended up having a definite effect on the game.

“Having only nine players on the field of 11 makes it difficult to not have the substitutions to make to get water breaks,” said Vaqueros head coach Eric Valois.

Saint Benedict’s squad outnumbered City College’s by nearly two to one and was able to keep its players fresh and take control of the game in the second half.

“We knew that with the weather and our personnel situation we had to maintain a lot of possession,” Valois said. “We just tried to slow the game down, play at our pace, and dictate where the ball went”

After the Blazers took a quick 2-0 lead, the Vaqueros responded with two goals of their own from defender Marissa Hill and attacker Mari Cajandi to tie it up.

City College headed into the break down 3-2, after Blazers Attacker Nicole Jaeger scored with eight minutes remaining in the first half.

The amount of shots on net was relatively even in the first half, as both teams had multiple opportunities to score.

“It’s good that we are getting shots on net,” Valois said. “But we need to make sure that the shots that we do take are accurate and that they are not rushed or forced”

Even with a 10-6 Blazers lead and two minutes remaining in the game, the Vaqueros did not give up but instead made one final push.

After a save by Vaqueros goalie Briki Cajandi, a score from midfielder Megan McCullough would make the game 10-7 with 1:49 to go.

City College wasted no time between goals.

Immediately regaining possession of the ball, defender Marissa Hill scored to make it 10-8 with 1:24 to go.

As the clock hit zero and both teams walked off the field, City College players still found positives to take out of the game.

“Promising things for us though,” Valois said. “Getting new players and still keeping a game close.”

The Vaqueros play their next match at 11 a.m. Feb. 15, against the University of Utah at La Playa stadium.