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Clemson lacrosse improves to 2-0 with victory over Furman

Aralynn Minnick, Asst. Photo Editor

The Clemson women’s lacrosse team has started the 2023 season 2-0 and has outscored its opponents 42-4.

The Clemson women’s lacrosse team continued its inaugural campaign in a commanding fashion with a 19-3 victory over the Furman Paladins on Wednesday. 

The first quarter saw a program record for goals scored in one period, with 11 compared to the Tigers’ nine last Saturday. 

From the jump, Clemson demonstrated an impressive lacrosse IQ. 

In the first quarter, after a foul from freshman defender Paris Masaracchia gave the Paladins a woman advantage, senior midfielder Emma Tilson snappily caused her own defender to foul her and subsequently evened the leverage on the field. Seconds later, Clemson earned its first woman advantage of the game when Masaracchia was cleared to return. 

Head coach Allison Kwolek recognizes that the success of her novice team depends on how well the women work together, something which was apparent in the selflessness of the team’s pass game. 

Typically, a new program would be expected to display impatience with getting the ball in the cage, but these Tigers prefer to pass to an open teammate rather than force an unwise move through the 12-meter. There were eight different scorers in the first half alone.  

“The first practice we had didn’t look like that; we had to learn each other’s tendencies,” Kwolek said before the game. 

Subsequently, the dominant offense forced the Paladins to rearrange their defensive positioning early in the game. They moved their midfielders to the back third of the field to help defenders try to contain Clemson’s explosiveness. 

Attackers Chloe Willard and Emma Tilson each made notable contributions to the board, with Tilson evading her defender for a well-read, behind-the-back shot into the net. Tilson followed her impressive first goal with a close crease cut for her second of the afternoon. 

Willard, on the other hand, had an impressive cut-through triple coverage to sink the ball between the posts with 35 seconds left in the first quarter for the team’s 11th goal of the afternoon. 

The Tigers’ offense partially owed their success to their draw specialists. Junior midfielder Ella Little and senior attacker Hanna Hilcoff dominated inside and outside the circle, earning majority possession of the ball on draws and scoring one and four goals, respectively.

Hilcoff was perhaps the most prominent name on the field, thanks to a stellar first half. After a first-quarter hat trick, she sent the ball to the back of the net once more to close the half, giving her the four goals on the afternoon and the Tigers a 14-0 lead. 

The Tigers dominated inside the crease as well. Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Lamparter was responsible for the first-half shutout, saving every shot on goal. After the change of halves, graduate transfer Krissy Kowalski maintained this momentum as she allowed only three shots in the net. 

Furman was forced to rethink their game plan on both sides of the ball, as they also recognized that Clemson’s defense was too impenetrable of a wall to work through with brute force. Even on a two-woman advantage free position shot at one point, Furman decided to bail out and pass away from the 12 rather than force through Clemson’s defenders. 

Clemson finished with 11 scorers, who completed 19 of its 26 shots on goal compared to Furman’s 3-for-11. The Tigers will be back in action this Saturday, Feb. 18, at noon EST when they travel to Rock Hill, South Carolina, to take on Winthrop.

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Grace O'Donnell, Sports Editor
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