Lasers bested by Union in non-conference bout

By Kaie QuigleyCo-Editor-in-Chief

All photos by Joe Giacco

On Saturday afternoon at Taylor Field, the Lasers fell to undefeated Union College 1-0. As of match time, Union was 5-0 and ranked eighth in Division III, Region III. 

After a scoreless 80 minutes, sophomore Grace Buchanan ended the scoring drought by tapping in the winner for the Dutchwomen.

The Union goal was set up by stand-out sophomore Sam Friedman, who had been threatening the net all afternoon. Prior to the score, Friedman had hit the woodwork on several occasions. 

This time after breaking through the Lasers’ defense, Friedman’s shot once again found the crossbar. Thankfully for the Dutchwomen, Buchanan was there to clean up the go-ahead goal.

The home team was without sophomore defender Julia Vaillancourt due to injury, but senior Alexys Suojanen stepped up in her stead. Suojanen stopped several approaches from the Dutchwomen as a last line of defense.

The true last line for the Lasers, senior keeper Kyli Swann, made a series of impressive saves on the day— something head coach Vito LaFrancesca took notice of. “I mean, she’s just amazing,” he said.

Swann, originally from Arizona, was a highly touted recruit for the Lasers years ago. Now a leader in the backfield for the Lasers, Swann has proved to be a prize pick-up for the fifteenth-year head coach.

“She has been getting stronger and stronger every game. She’s reading the game.., she’s making great decisions— she’s playing out of her mind right now,” said LaFrancesca.

Despite the last-minute loss, LaFrancesca had pride in his team’s performance. “I thought they played well today, they stuck to the game plan,” he said. 

“Yeah it sucks, but we played our hearts out throughout the whole ninety minutes and I’m appreciative of what we’ve done and what we’ve [come] from,” said Swann.

According to the keeper, the last three non-conference games have taught the Lasers that they need to finish their opponents. “We’ve been giving up a lot of our goals the last 10 to 15 minutes each game… finishing [the] game is going to be the way we win all of our GNAC games,” said Swann.

The Lasers fall to 2-4 overall, and 0-4 in non-conference games this fall after the loss. They will travel to New Haven, CT on Wednesday to play Albertus Magnus College as they try to remain undefeated in Great Northeastern Athletic Conference (GNAC) play.

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