Field hockey cruising toward homestand

The College’s field hockey team continued its recent hot streak with a 3-0 win over William Paterson University on Saturday afternoon.

It was the Lions’ first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) win of the year and puts their overall record at 5-0.

The College started the scoring early when freshman midfielder Kelly Mitchell dished out an assist to fellow freshman forward Jennifer Lubin.

In the second half, junior defender Meg Hess scored in the 60th minute off a pass from sophomore midfielder Colleen Dougherty. Junior forward Jess Berkowitz capped off the scoring for the Lions on an assist from Mitchell, her second of the game.

Perhaps the most impressive statistic in the victory, however, was that it marked the Lions’ third shutout of the year for senior goalkeeper Kristina Beyel, who made two saves in net behind a stellar defense.

Beyel deflected some of the credit to her teammates.

“It’s the whole defensive unit that should get credit for the shutout,” Beyel said, “not just me.”

Luckily for the Lions, they are already almost through one of the toughest parts of their schedule, while the next four games, including Thursday’s game against Johns Hopkins University and Saturday’s matchup against rival Ramapo College, will all be at home.

Many of the Lions, including head coach Sharon Pfluger, agree that playing at home gives the team a boost.

“The biggest difference between home and away games is the surface that we play on,” Pfluger said. “At home, we get to play on the nice carpet, which we are used to. The game was meant to be played on the type of artificial surface we have because great parts of the game can be seen such as outstanding stick work and a good passing game.”

Beyel agreed that playing at home gives the team a big advantage, but not just because of the surface.

“Of course we love to play at home,” Beyel said. “We obviously have a greater advantage because it’s our own turf, and a very nice one I may add. But also, we get a lot of really great fans to come cheer us on. ”

At this point in last year’s schedule, the Lions were just 3-2, still trying to work out the kinks.

This year, though, they have been cruising since the very first game.

Dougherty said the difference is due to a lot of hard work.

“Last year, we couldn’t put all the pieces together,” she said. “Right now we are clicking really well on and off the field which makes us stronger as a whole. Our practices have been very intense from the moment we step on the field until the moment we step off. If the other team is more skilled, we will be better conditioned and ready to out-hustle them.”

On Saturday, the Lions will continue their four-game homestand against Ramapo at 2 p.m.