Nothing captured the Fresno State lacrosse team’s dominance over St. Bonaventure more than the Dogs’ fifth goal.
Midfielder Hannah Krats forced a turnover, then outran the entirety of the Bonnies’ defenders, passed the ball directly into Ryleigh Bone’s stick and into position for a wide open shot. Bone made the most of her opportunity and fired the ball into the back of the net for a 5-0 lead.
The Bulldogs were simply too efficient on both ends of the field for the Bonnies to compete with them. The ‘Dogs won,19-7.
“We really fired on all pistons on attack, and the defense started the game strong, and continued that for the whole game,” said head coach Jessica Giglio.
The Bulldogs were unstoppable offensively. They shot the ball 40 times, a season high.
Sarah Bloise and Tiffiny Wallace made for quite the show on offense. Bloise assisted on three consecutive Wallace goals. Bloise made sure to find Wallace on the break and during her cuts.
“[Wallace] just really had a nose for the goal today. Sarah [Bloise] set her up with some really great looks, too. She had some good finishes, great passes,” Giglio said. “[Wallace] is the leader for us on attack, and it showed today.”
Wallace had an affinity for the goal Tuesday. It seemed like every time the ‘Dogs got near the Bonnies goal, she was there to score, assist or pick up a ground ball.
Wallace finished with a team-high six goals and five ground balls.
One of her goals came off of a free positioning shot, an area where the ‘Dogs finished 5-of-10. All five of the makes came in the first half, which really helped build their comfortable 13-4 lead going into the second half.
“We’ve gotten a lot of opportunities in all of our games, we just need to finish them. The girls worked hard on finishing them,” Giglio said.
But the opportunities and goals would all be meaningless without a sturdy defense to hold their lead. The ‘Dogs defensive unit was just that.
“I’m really proud of how everyone worked and how hard we all worked for this,” said defender Olivia Mannon.
Mannon and the rest of the unit left the Bonnies’ offense completely discombobulated. The Bonnies looked lost and failed to find a rhythm in their offense. The ‘Dogs defense forced its opponents to work fervently for a shot at goal.
That work resulted in the 16 Bonnie turnovers and half as many shots as the Bulldogs.
Most important of all, Giglio is just happy her team was able to avoid another defensive outing like the one against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs were called for 39 fouls in that game; this game saw them called for 24.
“I don’t know if, necessarily, we played any different. I think that we – I guess the best way to say it is – were just a little bit more cautious when it came to the midfield play, on those fouls, so it did not hurt us closer to the goal,” Giglio said.
Mannon added that the team definitely went in with a more calculated mindset regarding their physicality. It was something the team focused on at practice.
The Bulldogs are out of action until they play Sacred Heart University on March 10.