Lions rebound from Rowan loss with two victories

After recording two back-to-back shutout wins this week, the College’s field hockey team is back on its feet. Following a 2-1 loss to Rowan last week, the Lions needed last Tuesday’s 5-0 win against Richard Stockton College and Thursday’s 4-0 win over Cabrini College to have a shot at the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship.

They also were defeated, however, in a shutout Saturday when they lost 4-0 to the Salisbury University Sea Gulls.

“We walked off the field (at Rowan) knowing we didn’t play well,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “It was disappointing.”

Against Stockton, sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin Nolan recorded 10 saves in the first half and 21 total as she attempted to keep the Lions’ offense at bay. The Lions first goal came off of a penalty shot from junior forward Rosie Santiago with 15:22 left in the first to give her team a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

The College came out strong in the second half as sophomore forward Allison Greene scored twice. Senior midfielder Kim Feeley scored the second goal of the night at 42:57, unassisted, to start off the rally. Greene got her first goal with 25:19 left on an assist from sophomore forward Jess Berkowitz.

“They all started feeling more confident,” Pfluger said. “We had some beautiful combinations like (Greene) and (Berkowitz) and we’re capable of doing that every game.”

The duo came back at 60:38 to give the Lions a 3-0 lead as Berkowitz assisted Greene again on her second goal. The Ospreys called a timeout hoping to regain their composure and get back in the game but the Lions kept coming. Greene wasn’t done yet as she assisted senior forward Colleen Stamler for the fifth goal of the game.

The Ospreys looked for a comeback but couldn’t get past junior goalkeeper Kristina Beyel as she recorded her fifth shutout of the season.

“It’s really exciting to get (a shutout),” Beyel said. “Sometimes it’s frustrating when I give up a goal even if we get the win.”

Led by sophomore midfielder/defender Blair Alber against Cabrini, the Lions scored three times in the first half for a commanding 3-0 lead. Alber assisted junior defender Kaitlin Wooster for the first goal of the game at 3:51 off a penalty corner.

At 20:48, Alber scored her only goal of the game off a penalty corner with assistance from both Wooster and sophomore defender Meg Hess. Hess came back to shoot a goal in with less than 10 minutes left in the first half as Alber gained the assist.

Freshman forward Alycia Gotthold made her debut a memorial one, scoring a goal with less than a minute left to secure the Lions’ win.

The team agrees its success is due to a total team effort. “My defense is a big help and listens to me,” Beyel said regarding her six shutouts thus far.

However, the College wasn’t as lucky Saturday, when they were shut down for the first time this season against defending National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champions, Salisbury University. Salisbury was also the only team to shutout the College last year, beating them in the NCAA semifinals.

The Sea Gulls scored twice in both halves and outshot the Lions 21-6 for a 4-0 win. Senior midfielder Melissa Webster scored the opening goal of the game at 5:03 off a penalty stroke to give Salisbury the lead. Sophomore forward Tracy Lloyd scored her 12th goal of the season at 14:56 with the assist going to sophomore forward Megan Powell.

In the second half, Lloyd scored once again with help from senior defender Erin Budd at 45:28. Sophomore forward Lynette Sgrignoli scored the final unassisted goal at 58:35. For the Lions, Beyel finished the day with 10 saves.

With the win, the Sea Gulls (12-0) have extended their winning streak to 23 games dating back to last year. The Lions will have to wait to get their revenge as they hope to meet the Sea Gulls at the championships.

“We’re going after the title,” Pfluger said. “We have to fight through every game but we’re still a young team.”

The College will be on the road for the rest of the week, beginning with yesterday’s match against Kean University.