Blue Devil laxers move to 13-0 with 13-5 win

No. 17 ranked Fredonia State remained unbeaten with a 13-5 SUNYAC women’s lacrosse victory over Buffalo State in a steady rain at University Stadium.

“Overall I thought we played really well,” Fredonia State head coach Chris Case said. “Pretty much every facet of our game was pretty sharp. We held (Buffalo State) scoreless for the first 26 or 27 minutes, so I thought to be able to hold a big rival – and a team that’s traditionally been in our conference playoffs – to hold them to one goal for the first half was a pretty good job by our defense.

“And I thought we did some good things offensively,” Case continued. “I thought we were able to find some looks in some things we were working on, and our players were able to execute them.”

Marissa Cussins had four goals and two assists while Katie Kleine and Rachael Reinis had three goals each for the Blue Devils, who improved to 13-0 overall and 5-0 in the SUNYAC.

“(Casey) Chiesa once again had a fantastic day,” Case said of his goalie. “Our top field player was probably Marissa Cussins. She was pretty dangerous and definitely caused problems for Buffalo State.”

The 13 straight wins is the most ever by a Blue Devil women’s team in any team sport at any point in a season. The 2011 softball team started its season 12-0, while three men’s teams (1993-94 hockey, men’s soccer 1995 and 1996) went deeper into their seasons without recording a loss.

After a slow start Tuesday, the Blue Devils gained the upper hand and never trailed. Cussins opened the scoring at 10:31 into the first half. It stayed 1-0 until Reinis scored with 16:48 gone, the first of four goals in the span of just over four minutes.

Down 5-1 at halftime, Buffalo State scored consecutive goals early in the first half to cut its deficit to 6-3. The Blue Devils pulled away by stringing together seven straight goals.

In addition to Fredonia State’s top three goal scorers, three players had one goal each – Kaila Fox, Katie Glagolev, and Juliana Kotas. Glagolev also had four assists and Kleine had one. Chelsea Maderer was credited with a team-high three ground balls, Cussins with two draw controls, and goalkeeper Casey Chiesa with three caused turnovers in addition to six saves. Chiesa has been in goal for all 13 Blue Devil wins this season.

Niki Paulhardt had three goals for Buffalo State, which fell to 7-7 overall and 2-4 in the SUNYAC.

The Blue Devils avenged a loss to Buffalo State, 16-13, in last year’s SUNYAC semifinals at Cortland. In addition, the Bengals entered the game having defeating the Blue Devils in five of their previous six meetings.

“If you told me we’d be 13-0, knowing what we lost (from last year’s team), I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Our schedule is tough right now, and according to the numbers, (we have) the 10th toughest schedule (in the nation) and we’re 13-0. It’s an unbelievable ride and the girls are enjoying it.

“They understand our game plan and they’re going out and executing it,” Case continued. “I think this team we have is really good. There are some solid players from top to bottom on it. We just have to keep playing.”

NOTES: Fredonia State closes out the home portion of its regular season Saturday against the Potsdam Bears at 1 o’clock. Reinis, Fox, Chiesa, and fellow senior Erin Edson will be recognized during a pre-game ceremony.

Blue Devils move up three spots

Fredonia State is No. 17 in the NCAA Division III Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s Week 8 rankings released this morning.

They Blue Devils ranked No. 20 last week, the first time a Fredonia State women’s lacrosse team has cracked the Top 20 in the national poll. Their advance of three places represents the largest movement upward by any of the teams in this week’s poll.

At 13-0 overall, the Blue Devils are one of five remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division III. The others are No. 1 Trinity, Conn. (11-0), No. 2 Salisbury (13-0), No. 11 Susquehanna (12-0) and unranked Denison (11-0)

Three other SUNYAC schools are listed in the poll. Cortland remains at No. 4 while Brockport and Geneseo were listed as having received votes.

Fredonia State is 5-0 in the SUNYAC after beating arch-rival Buffalo State, 13-5, Tuesday at University Stadium.