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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

Pitt lacrosse braves the rain to defeat Central Michigan

Fifth-year+attacker+Camdyn+ODonnell+%2820%29+and+junior+midfielder+Talia+Zuco+%2819%29+celebrate+during+a+lacrosse+game+against+Louisville+at+Highmark+Stadium+on+March+2.
Nate Yonamine | Assistant Visual Editor
Fifth-year attacker Camdyn O’Donnell (20) and junior midfielder Talia Zuco (19) celebrate during a lacrosse game against Louisville at Highmark Stadium on March 2.

Pitt lacrosse (4-9, 0-6 ACC) defeated Central Michigan (2-11, 2-0 MAC) in an 18-3 win on Tuesday. The game, initially scheduled for a later time slot, was moved to 10 a.m. due to thunderstorms. Despite the change, rain still persisted as the Panthers took the field.

Pitt began the game with an electric start, despite the conditions. Pitt fifth-year attacker Camdyn O’Donnell sparked the offense with a hat trick, scoring three goals and securing three ground balls in just the first quarter.

O’Donnell credits her early success to her teammates’ assistance in securing two free position goals in the opening minutes of the first quarter.

“My two goals came off of free position shots, from my teammates driving hard, and then passing the ball out and getting me to pump and get that shooting space,” O’Donnell said.

She also described how many goals were scored off of open drives to the net. 

“That was awesome work for them, for drawing it and then dumping it off to me,” O’Donnell said. “Our off-ball movement was great today too, getting us open and getting lanes open to goal.”

Pitt first-year attacker Avery Moon also made significant contributions to the game, scoring two goals, three assists and two ground balls. Moon highlighted the effectiveness of her team’s off-ball movement and the feeds she received from her teammates. 

“The off-ball just made the [Central Michigan] defense mess up and let people open,” Moon said. “So, it was easy to find those feeds.”

Along with letting people open, the Panthers worked on getting goals quickly by grabbing ground balls. 

“Our team has been emphasizing grit and working hard, just being first to the ball,” Moon said. “I made sure to get to the ground balls first, and then just having to turn and shoot them.”

The first-year also mentioned that Pitt executed well when Central Michigan received a penalty.

“When we had a man-up offense, I think we ran that well,” Moon said. “It just got me open and helped me get goals.”

O’Donnell also discussed the Panthers’ preparations for the weather conditions.

“We talked before the game,” O’Donnell said. “The coaches came into the locker room and just said to be aware and take extra time on our shots and passes.” 

She continued to talk about the conditions on the defensive side of the ball.

“And then when playing defense, when it’s slippery, make sure that your stick doesn’t slip up the girl from the rain,” O’Donnell said. “Just to drive hard and to make sure we are being careful on defense.” 

Both players shared that the rain was the main challenge in the game. O’Donnell mentioned that the team made adjustments throughout the game to help counter these challenges. 

“I think the rain affected some of our stick work,” O’Donnell said. “A couple of times, Avery and I just dropped the ball. That usually doesn’t really happen.”

O’Donnell continued to showcase how her team adjusted to slippery conditions in regards to stick work with the ball. 

“We did make some pretty good adjustments in the midfield,” O’Donnell said. “We were really focused on cutting to the ball, instead of away, so that if we were dropping it, we would be picking it up. We’d be first to that ground ball.”

Moon said the rain didn’t affect the communication aspect of the game.

“We were pretty fired up out there,” Moon said. “Our energy was very high. The team was in good spirits. That helped us play well and just work together. ”

Both Moon and O’Donnell attribute the success of the impressive win to effective communication.

“We were connected all the way through the field,” O’Donnell said. “So goalie to defense, to defense to midfield to attack — we had a lot of transition goals. That actually starts with the defense having a stop, and then the ball works toward the midfielders and then the attacker. The field really clicked today.”

The Panthers scored the first five goals of the game. O’Donnell said the offense focused on having a hot start. 

“We started out pretty hot today,” O’Donnell said. “The hotter we start out has been a focus this season, just making sure that we’re coming out and playing strong from the beginning.”

O’Donnell continued to describe that building momentum from consistently scoring goals at the beginning of a game creates confidence for her and her teammates. 

“It just gives us a lot of confidence to keep going to goal hard,” O’Donnell said. “If we make mistakes, it’s okay. The defense will get the ball back for us. And then we’ll finish it for them. It just builds a lot of confidence at the beginning for us to play free.”

The Panthers play just four games left in the regular season. Next, they play No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday, April 6. Coverage airs at 4 p.m. on ACCNX.

About the Contributor
Lily Peters, Staff Writer
Lily Peters is a sports staff writer for The Pitt News. She is a part of the College of General Studies class of 2027 and is majoring in Media and Professional Communications. Additionally, she is pursuing a certificate in Television and Broadcast Arts.