On March 22, 2001, the College’s women’s lacrosse team suffered a regular-season loss, an event that would not occur again for almost four years. But after 52 consecutive regular-season wins, the Lions were finally brought down by the Sea Gulls of Salisbury University last Sunday.
The second-ranked Lions opened their season on a high note March 8 with a 17-4 victory over the Pioneers of Widener University, but the celebration ended only a few days later when they suffered a 9-7 loss on the road to the fourth-ranked Sea Gulls.
Lions’ freshman midfielder Karen Doane led all players with four goals, while junior midfielder Lauren Dougher contributed three goals and an assist. Junior goalkeeper Megan Marquardt posted seven saves.
However, their efforts were not enough to overcome the Sea Gulls, who were led by senior midfielder Linda Ackermann’s three goals and junior attacker Lynsey Bateman’s two goals and an assist for the win.
“Sailisbury has been a consistently tough opponent,” junior defender Meredith Spangler said. “Although we held the lead in draw controls and shots on goal their team prevailed in a highly competitive game.”
The Sea Gulls took a 6-3 lead into halftime with back-to-back goals in the last 5:36 of the half.
In the second half, Salisbury opened the new period with three straight goals for a 9-3 advantage with 12:04 remaining in the game as Ackermann scored twice and Bateman added one. The Lions fired back with four unanswered goals, but it was not enough.
“There were a lot of mistakes that we made, but we can learn from them,” sophomore forward Amanda Fuchs said.
Although overshadowed by the recent loss, the Lions’ season did start on a good note as they rolled to a 17-4 victory in their season opener against the Pioneers of Widener University. The Lions squared off with the Pioneers at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida.
“While in Florida we were able to get a lot done in a nice environment which I think lead to great chemistry on the field,” Spangler said.
Dougher led all players with five goals and three assists, while senior midfielder Lauren Gossner added three goals and three assists to lead a balanced attack. Junior midfielder Bridget Bigley contributed two goals and two assists and freshmen Toni-Anne Cavallo and Doane each scored a pair of goals in their first collegiate game.
Marquardt and Paige Lucard split time in the goal and combined for five saves to lead the team defensively.
“The attackers were stupendous with their shots and were continuously moving the ball,” Spangler said. “Toni-Anne Cavallo and Karen Doane were two freshman that really added to the amazing attacking unit that we had already.”
“We just moved the ball down the field from defense to offense very well,” Fuchs said.
Widener was led by senior attacker Lauren Goane, who tallied a goal and two assists, while junior midfielder Tricia Lynch chipped in a goal and an assist.
The Lions jumped out to a 9-0 lead with 4:46 remaining in the first half. The Pioneers finally got on the scoreboard at 3:09 when freshman midfielder Kerri Schulz converted a pass from Goane. The Lions ended the half with a goal from Bigley to post a 10-1 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Lions opened the new stanza with four straight goals before freshman midfielder Tara Krasley scored an unassisted goal at 20:25 to make it a 14-2 game. Doane, Dougher and Gossner tallied the Lions’ final three goals of the game.
Next up for the Lions will be SUNY Cortland at Lions Stadium on Saturday, where the Lions hope to start a new winning streak.
“The loss will just push us to work even harder,” Fuchs said. “We know that this season is not going to be easy, but the loss definitely will not bring us down.”