The College’s field hockey team started the season off exactly how it had planned-with two convincing wins.
On Thursday, the Lions had their first game at Division II Millersville University.
Head coach Sharon Pfluger understands that playing a Division II opponent can be a good test for her team but doesn’t put too much focus on it.
“I’m not sure that the girls are even aware that they are playing a Division II opponent,” Pfluger said. “They just go out there and play their hardest every game.”
So, with the Lions just eager to get out on the field and play their first game of the year, the Lions beat Millersville soundly 4-1.
Junior Allison Greene scored the first goal of the year with 13:11 remaining in the first half. Freshman Katie Reuther followed by scoring the first goal of her collegiate career.
Freshman Kelly Mitchell scored just before the end of the half, but so did Millersville. The Lions took a 3-1 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Reuther tallied another goal, making the final score 4-1. Coach Pfluger was impressed with the offensive output, but even more impressed with her team’s defensive effort.
The Lions’ defense looked strong, limiting Millersville to nine shots. Senior goalkeeper Kristina Beyel made eight saves to earn the win
“Our (defense) was tested quite a bit, but we held up pretty well,” she said. “We had some great saves by Kristina Beyel. We’ve been working very hard in practice and it shows.”
Sophomore Karen Robinson, who plays defense and midfield for the Lions, knows the importance of defense on the Lions’ squad.
“We know we have a lot of offensive threats,” Robinson said. “But we still need to keep the ball out of the cage and have a strong defense.”
In their second game of the year, and their first home game, the Lions once again were in attack mode. They took on Ithaca on Saturday and took control of the game from the very beginning, out-shooting Ithaca 39-3. Once again, Greene started off the scoring five minutes into the game and then freshman Erin Buchanan scored 10 minutes later on a penalty stroke.
After that, Kelly Mitchell went on a scoring streak, tallying the next three goals for her first hat trick of her college career.
In addition to the six goals, the defense put together another solid effort giving Beyel an easy day behind the net. Needing to make only one save, Beyel earned the shutout victory.
Freshman Jennifer Lubin rounded off the scoring with her first goal of the season.
Pfluger said she loves the way her freshmen have been performing thus far this season and can only hope their excellent play continues on throughout the rest of the season.
Robinson said the win was much needed. “Last year, we lost the first two games of the season and it was really hard,” she said. “(This school) is not used to losing. So, I’m very happy that we won two really well-played games to start the season.”
On Saturday, the Lions will be on the road to take on SUNY-New Paltz at 2 p.m.