The College’s field hockey team suffered its first setback of the year last Tuesday as they lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Ursinus College.
The game was slated to be a premier matchup, with the Lions and Bears ranked No. 4 and No. 6, respectively. Neither team disappointed. Both defenses fought hard in the first half, and by halftime the game was still scoreless. With 24 minutes remaining in the second half, Ursinus’ forward Karen Wendler scored off of a penalty corner for the decisive score.
The Lions had their share of scoring opportunities for the rest of the game, but were unable to convert on any of them. It was the first loss of the year for the College, but it was still a very well-played game on both sides.
“I think they took (the loss) pretty hard,” said head coach, Sharon Pfluger. “We had a lot of opportunities to score but we could not take advantage of any of them. The loss definitely taught us a lesson, though.”
After suffering its first loss of the year, there were two different directions the team could have taken – letting the loss hang over their heads or using the loss to fuel them for the next few games.
The Lions chose the latter, according to freshman Jennifer Lubin. “We were disappointed with the loss,” she said, “and we realized we could lose if we don’t play up to our potential, but we didn’t dwell on it and it has just motivated us to play harder.”
Two days later, on Thursday, the Lions squared off against Johns Hopkins University and took out their frustrations with a 4-1 win.
The scoring got started late in the first half for the Lions, when junior Allison Greene scored, with the assist going to sophomore Sheri Grondski. In the early stages of the second half, the Lions struck again, this time with junior Jess Berkowitz finding the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Johns Hopkins got on the board with a goal of their own, but another two minutes later, the Lions answered with Greene netting her second goal of the game. The deal was sealed when junior Meg Hess scored with only 14 seconds left.
On Saturday, the Lions topped Ramapo College 3-0, but the game was much closer than the score would lead most to believe.
Again, the Lions struggled offensively in the first half, unable to convert on any scoring opportunities.
In the second half, however, the offense came alive. About four minutes into the second half, Berkowitz kicked off the scoring for the Lions with a goal assisted by Greene and freshman Jenna Durante. Greene and Grondski also scored for the Lions in the second half.
Senior Kristina Beyel was perfect in the net for the Lions, and collected her fourth shutout of the season.
In all three games, the Lions seemed to have a tough time scoring goals in the first half. “I think it was just the way it worked out,” Pfluger said. “We came up with some really late goals, but we do need to take advantage of the opportunities we are getting early in the game.”
On Saturday, the Lions will play a rivalry match against Rowan University at home. According to Lubin, the team is anxious to take on Rowan. “Rowan is always one of the biggest games for us,” she said. “We are psyched and can’t wait to play on Saturday.”