Field hockey falls one short at Regionals

The College’s field hockey season came to an abrupt end with a 3-2 loss to first-ranked, undefeated Salisbury University on Monday in the NCAA Division III Regional Championship game.

The Sea Gulls jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals from junior forward Brittany Elliott and sophomore forward Megan Powell in the first half. Elliot deflected senior defender Erin Budd’s pass over the Lions’ defense to score the first goal of the game. Powell then rebounded her own shot to put Salisbury up by two.

Senior midfielder Melissa Webster extended the Sea Gulls’ lead to 3-0 when she converted a penalty stroke with 15 minutes left in the game.

The Lions did not go down quietly though as they strung together a late second-half rally to come within one goal with 4:28 remaining in the game. Sophomore forwards Jess Berkowitz and Allison Greene scored both goals in a span of six minutes, but the Lions failed to score after that.

Berkowitz put Greene’s assist into the lower right-hand corner of the goal to break the shutout, then Berkowitz assisted Greene for the second and last goal of the game.

The Lions had lost to Salisbury 4-0 in the regular season and were hoping to avenge the loss. Prior to the game, senior forward Sarah Moretti said, “We have unfinished business, losing to them 4-0 in the regular season we are thrilled to have another chance to prove as a team that we will not be taken lightly, we are in it to win.”

The Lions end their 2004 season with a 14-6 overall record and are currently ranked seventh in Division III.

The Lions had a strong start to post-season play on Sunday afternoon with a 5-3 win over Springfield College. Senior midfielder Kim Feeley scored the game winning goal at 59:32 to propel the Lions into the Regional Championship game against Salisbury.

The game on Sunday was the second round of NCAA action that the Lions earned through their 7-0 win over Montclair on Oct. 23 which stood as an automatic qualifier.

The Lions came ready to play this past weekend. “As a team we were excited about this weekend,” Moretti said. The game, which was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon but was postponed to Sunday due to poor field conditions, improved the Lions’ record to 14-5 overall and extends their winning streak to six games.

The game ended the season for Springfield. The Lions snapped their eight-game winning streak, and left them with a 19-4 record overall for the season.

Greene scored the first goal of the game, giving the Lions a 1-0 lead with 14:31 remaining in the first half. The Pride soon returned the goal with one of their own when, with 1:32 left in the first period, junior forward Amber Paradee recorded an unassisted goal of her own.

The game was tied at one at the half, and Springfield came out on fire. Just 59 seconds into the start of the half, senior forward Lydia Grant connected with junior midfielder Meghan Bascetta’s shot on a penalty corner and put one into the back of the net. Only two and a half minutes later, freshman forward Brittany Veazie’s stung another one into the back of the net, giving Springfield a 3-1 lead over the Lions.

“We’ve worked extremely hard to get ourselves to this point,” junior forward Kaitlin Wooster said. “We just need to focus on playing together and doing simple things well, and then we’ll be happy with the outcome.”

The Lions managed to get it back together. Freshman midfielder Colleen Dougherty and senior forward Colleen Stamler scored back-to-back goals in a span of one minute and 18 seconds to equalize the game at three.

It was then that Feeley came through with her goal to lead the Lions to victory. With 10:28 left in regulation play, Feeley deflected Berkowitz’s pass past Springfield’s senior goalie Lindsey Pardue into the back of the cage.

Sophomore midfielder Blair Alber gave the Lions some insurance with her goal at 66:48, sealing the win for the Lions.

“The girls work well together, everyone puts forth effort and that is what leads to our wins,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “The girls have good communication, and that is key in these games.”

Junior goalie Kristina Beyel finished the game with four stops for the Lions, while Springfield’s Pardue displayed a strong resolve in-cage for Springfield and made 13 saves on the loss.