Freshman Mullin leads Lions to victory over Pioneers

Famous American cyclist, Greg LeMond, once said that experience is the most important part of racing. Experience might be the most important part of racing, but freshman forward on the College’s women’s soccer team, Christine Mullin, proved that she can do just fine without it on the soccer field.

Mullin powered the College to a 3-1 victory over the William Paterson University Pioneers by scoring a pair of goals in their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opener this weekend.

“She’s been doing really well,” junior midfielder, Katie Egan said. “Out of all our forwards, she has the most goals.”

However, according to Mullin, being a freshman on the team is not an easy task.

“I was very intimidated coming in as a freshman,” Mullin said. “But I feel like I’m settling in well.”

Head coach Joe Russo isn’t shocked by the freshman’s performance so far this season.

“I’m not surprised one bit,” Russo said. “She is more than capable and has great speed.”

The win improved the Lions’ record to 6-1 overall, and 1-0 in NJAC play. The Pioneers now drop to 3-3 over all and 0-1 in the NJAC.

After their first loss of the season at the hands of SUNY Oneonta State University Red Dragons, the Lions’ rank in the national Division III poll moved back to ninth, after being ranked seventh for the first three weeks of the season.

The game against the Pioneers remained scoreless through the entire first half and part of the second despite the fact that the College out shot WPU 16-4. Egan finally broke through on a pass from junior midfielder Lynda Schuster, with only 33 minutes left to play.

Mullin then scored the remaining goals for the Lions. Taking advantage of Schuster’s second assist on the day, Mullin gave the Lions a 2-0 lead with 15:47 on the clock.

Six minutes later, Mullin jumped on an assist from sophomore forward Brittny Boyd, for her second goal of the game, and the Lions’ third.

“We’ve improved upon our offense a lot in the past couple of games,” Egan said. “But we have to keep working on it because once we start playing the harder teams, there are a lot less opportunities to score.”

In a last ditch effort, Pioneer junior forward Erin Finn scored a goal with just five minutes left to play, preventing the shutout.

The College’s sophomore goalie, Alissa Kacar, earned the win for the Lions by turning away two of the Pioneer’s shots on goal. Pioneer’s freshman keeper, Meaghan Koppel, suffered the loss as she yielded three goals and made three saves in 90 minutes of play.

Looking ahead to upcoming NJAC games, Egan felt that the Lions might be facing a more difficult task in the NJAC this season than in recent years.

“It’s not going to be a walk in the park this year,” Egan said. “The other teams in the conference have improved a lot.”

“The league is as balanced as it has ever been,” Russo said. “But our schedule prior to NJAC play was very competitive so we’re prepared.”

Upcoming Game

The Lions continue their NJAC competition at Rutgers University-Camden at 6 p.m. today.