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  • Delaney Hayden

Canisius women’s lacrosse downs Niagara in the Battle of the Bridge

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

By Delaney Hayden The Canisius Women’s Lacrosse team journeyed over the bridge to face their rivals at Niagara University this past Wednesday evening. In the home territory of the Purple Eagles, temperatures remained in the 20s and winds blew as if they were standing beneath Niagara Falls itself.

The game marked the 32nd all-time meeting between the two programs in the Battle of the Bridge, in which Canisius leads the series 18-14. The win on Wednesday was Canisius' first win over Niagara since 2019, and it also marked the Griffs' first road win in the series since the 2018 campaign.

Upon arrival, the Golden Griffins walked onto what they thought might be the Purple Eagle’s ice rink, just to find out it was the field they were to play on. The freezing temperatures, windchill, and lack of snow removal from the field didn’t hinder the Griffs.

From the second the first whistle blew, the gritty Griffs were firing right out the gate, driving them to a 12–11 victory over the Purple Eagles.

The game was close the whole way through, with Niagara’s Lexi Braniecki scoring the first goal of the game at 13:16. Braniecki’s goal did not go unanswered by the Griffs though, as they responded with three in return from grad student, attacker, and captain, Ivy Santana, junior attacker/ midfielder, Caroline Netti, and freshman midfielder, Maggie Tifft.

It was a game of back-and-fourths, as the Purple Eagles responded to the three Canisius goals with three more of their own. By halftime, Canisius trailed 7-5, but did not let the deficit hold them back.

Santana put the Griffs on the board again to start the second half, and Stachura had the go-ahead-goal, placing Canisius back on top, 8–7, with 2:21 left in the third quarter. The Purple Eagles battled back within the last few minutes of play in the third quarter finishing the quarter with a 9–8 lead over the Griffs.

Rachel Crane got one goal back for the Purple Eagles with 1:16 to play in regulation, but the Griffs' defense fought hard and forced a turnover from Niagara's Maddy Gill as Canisius’ junior defender, Catherine Wall, snatched the loose ground ball, running out the clock to seal the Griffs victory.

Senior midfielder Paige Stachura matched her career-high of six goals, making up half of the Griffs' points. Grad student, attacker, and captain, Ivy Santana had three of her own goals. Grad student, midfielder, and captain, Skylar McArthur, junior attacker/ midfielder, Caroline Netti, and freshman midfielder, Maggie Tifft, each had one, contributing greatly to the one goal win Canisius had in the end.

With their win, the Golden Griffins improved to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in MAAC play, while the Purple Eagles went down to 6-5 and 0-2 in conference action.

Freshman goalie Jody Chu picked up a career-high of nine ground balls, caused two turnovers, and made six saves in the winning effort.

The Golden Griffins are on the road again this weekend as they are headed down to play their MAAC opponent the Iona Gaels on Saturday. Face off is scheduled for a noon start time.

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