High-powered offense pilots lacrosse

Since suffering two very tough losses in the early part of the season, the College’s women’s lacrosse team has outscored its opponents by a total of 90 goals, 132-42.

Last week, the College had a full schedule, playing three games in the span of four days.

Perhaps the most important win of the week came on Thursday, against intra-state rival Drew University. The Lions started off the game a bit sluggishly and were tied 2-2 in the first half but surged back for a 10-4 win.

Senior midfielder Lauren Gossner led both teams with a total of three goals and junior midfielder Lauren Dougher and freshman midfielder Karen Doane each chipped in with two goals apiece.

Freshman midfielder Toni-Anne Cavallo, junior midfielder Bridget Bigley and freshman attacker Diane Haddeland all notched a single goal. Junior goalkeeper Megan Marquardt had a solid day with seven saves, improving her record to 9-2 on the season.

On Saturday afternoon, the Lions handled Cabrini College easily, 15-2.

Gossner led the team in scoring with three goals and one assist. Dougher and freshman attacker Kate Neese each chimed in with a pair of goals and assists.

Doane had two goals and an assist and sophomore midfielder Amanda Fuchs scored one goal and dished out on assist. Cavallo added a goal.

Once again, the College’s goalkeeping was on the ball. Marquardt and junior Paige Lucard split time to rack up three saves.

On Sunday, the College topped St. Mary’s College 19-7 despite finding themselves in a dicey situation trailing by two goals.

By halftime, though, the Lions were able to tie the score 7-7 and in the second half they tallied 12 unanswered goals.

Gossner led the team in scoring with a career-high eight goals and also added an assist. Bigley and Neese had three goals each with Bigley also chipping in three assists and Neese adding one. Doane and Cavallo added two goals each and Gossner had a goal and an assist.

Clearly, the Lions’ offense has exploded in recent weeks, but defense has played a role in the in the victories.

Head coach Sharon Pfluger said that without the defense’s hard work, the offense would not be able to get anything going.

“The level that the defense plays at sets the intensity level for the rest of the game,” Pfluger said. “Defensively, we need to be strong and that will start the positive snowball effect. They have been playing very well as a team.”

Junior defender Meredith Spangler agreed that the team aspect of defense is very important.

“We have been playing very well as a defense,” she said. “We have been playing as a unit, not as individuals. I believe this is the key to our success.”

Now, the key is to keep this intensity up for the rest of the year. This is something Pfluger said the team will have no problem doing.

“Although we’ve had some pretty lopsided victories, I feel like we’ve been working really hard to win like we are” Pfluger said. “We’ve been challenged on the field and everyone is staying intense and focused. We are focusing on each and every opponent and we are not looking too far ahead.”

Senior captain Heather Rainey knows the team needs to stay focused for the playoff push as well. There is one other factor keeping the team focused this year: Pfluger.

“She is a great coach and never lost confidence in us,” Rainey said. “She is always pushing us to our full potential.”

The team will be in the NCAA Division III playoffs but the seeds and schedule are yet to be determined.