Field hockey evens record after poor start

A little hard work and a full team effort helped the women’s field hockey team (2-2) regain their composure and come back for two big wins last week.

“It took us awhile to get adjusted,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “They’re learning so much all at once. We could have used one more week.”

Just a week after losing two straight, the Lions, led by senior forward Colleen Stamler, gained their first win. They beat the Wolverines of Wesley College by a score of 4-0.

The College opened up the game at 2:11 with a goal by Stamler, her first of three for the night. Stamler later connected a pass from sophomore forward Jess Berkowitz at 16:03 for a 2-0 lead at the end of the half.

The Lions continued to show intensity and aggression during the second half, which was highlighted by the diving shot of sophomore defender Meg Hess at 54:08.

Stamler completed her hat trick on the final shot with 7:47 left to play. Junior goalie Kristina Beyel recorded her first shutout of the season with three saves.

“Today they supported each other more. It was more of a team effort,” Pfluger said.

With the motivation of their first win of the season, the Lions faced the Hawks of SUNY New Paltz determined to gain a second win. The Lions won easily, 8-1.

Stamler started off the game again with a goal at 14:31 and another at 16:24 to give the College a quick lead. But New Paltz came within one when junior forward Patricia Erikson scored off an assist from junior forward Kate Schoonmaker at 26:47.

Berkowitz and Stamler then took over, scoring three goals in under one minute of play. With 3:07 left in the half, Berkowitz managed to push the ball into the net after battling the Hawks’ defenders. Seconds later, Berkowitz shot again, this time hitting the post. However, Stamler was there to get the rebound for her third goal of the day with 2:50 left. Berkowitz then helped push in a shot by sophomore forward Allison Greene with 2:35 remaining for a 5-1 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Stamler recorded her fourth goal at 37:02 unassisted. Berkowitz scored twice at 47:11 and 53:26, also finishing with four goals, to seal the 8-1 win. Greene’s speed and agility helped open opportunities for her teammates as she finished off with three assists in the game.

“I want to get them the good passes,” Greene said. “Setting up my teammates and distributing the ball is my job.”

Beyel and sophomore goalkeeper Erin Mitschke split the duties at the goal to silence the Hawks’ offense.

Stamler stated that the two previous losses were due to a lack of communication. “We’re starting to gel together and our passing is on,” she said. “We’re communicating a lot more.”

Berkowitz agreed saying, “There’s always someone there. Our passing game is really starting to work for us.”

The College will be facing William Paterson on Friday at 7:30 p.m. for their first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game. With a six-day break, the Lions will have plenty of time to prepare.

“We just have to improve our game and not worry about the other team,” Pfluger said.