Women’s lacrosse coach Kevin Cooke knew a successful follow-up to his first season back in Erie would be no short order — especially after graduating his top playmaker and midfielder, arguably two of the greatest players in program history. His current iteration of the women’s lacrosse roster used a 6-2 second-half run Sept. 14 to propel 15th-ranked Mercyhurst to a win over the program’s alumni team at Tullio Field to open the Fall Ball slate.
“The alumni game is an event that our team looks forward to every year because we get to play and spend time with past teammates,” said Lakers goalkeeper Abigail Miller. It appeared as if, at least for the preseason opener, the Lakers had begun to solve a riddle that will perplex the team until the season begins in earnest Feb. 23.
Taylor Izzo returned to a program where she ranks third in assists and recorded a 100-point season last year, missing a free-position but connecting with current senior Nellie Dephtereos to cut the lead in half. Freshman Rachel Hirst finished the game with a point and an assist, grabbing the feed from Heather Greenway, then Lacey Netti continued her strong play racing from Raelyn Tiberio’s right downfield to beat Whitehead at 10:19.
The game ended 14-6 for the lacrosse team, but for them it wasn’t about the win. “We really don’t pay attention to the score. The game is for the pure joy of playing the game and doing it with past teammates,” said Miller.