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Fresno State sophomore Abigail Bergevin (44) evades a pair of Furman players during Monday’s 7-4 win over the Paladins. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)

LAX: ‘Dogs control second half to pull away from Furman

Fresno State sophomore Abigail Bergevin (44) evades a pair of Furman players during Monday’s 7-4 win over the Paladins. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)

Fresno State sophomore Abigail Bergevin (44) evades a pair of Furman players during Monday’s 7-4 win over the Paladins. (Ricky Gutierrez/The Collegian)

After a slow first half, Fresno State (3-3) came alive in the second half of Monday’s 7-4 win over Furman to get back to .500.

Tied 2-2 at intermission, the Bulldogs stormed out of the half and got ahead behind efficient play from both sides of the ball to outscore the Paladins 5-2 in the second period.

“It was a great win,” Fresno State head coach Jessica Giglio said. “Last year, [Furman] beat us 16-4 on their home turf and it’s something that has been on our minds. We really wanted to come out and prove that we can hang with them and that we should be winning. We have put so much work into this season, so it was great to get that win.”

Giglio delivered a message during the intermission that lit a fire under her team, and it showed in the second half.

“I told them at halftime: ‘the team that has the most heart is going to win this game,’ because it was a very dead-even game” Giglio said. “I felt like we really responded right away with two goals and it’s a possession game so we wanted to hold the ball until we got perfect shots and perfect opportunities. Our defense also had some huge momentum stops for us.”

The ‘Dogs spread the ball around on offense with five different players recording a goal. Underclassmen Sarah Bloise and Abigail Bergevin led the Bulldog attack with a pair of goals each.

Bloise, who scored the Bulldogs’ first two goals of the match, continues to make an impact early in her collegiate career as last week she was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Women’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week.

“I thought Sarah really stepped up today,” Giglio said. “I think she’s becoming a strong presence on attack. She had two goals for us and got a draw [control] for us at the end, which was really important. So I think she stepped up and Nicole Ortlieb, who before the game was leading the conference in goals, put two in the back of the net and Abby Bergevin’s last goal that kind of sealed the win for us was an amazing take. We worked really well as a team today on attack, which was what we stressed all week.”

The Bulldogs carry a bit of momentum heading into a pair of tough road tests this weekend when they travel to Oregon to battle George Mason on Friday and the host Ducks on Sunday.