It was an up-and-down weekend for the College in the yearly Rowan University rivalry weekend, and the field hockey team unfortunately got the short end of the stick. In a hard-fought battle, the team suffered a harsh 2-1 defeat to the Profs on Saturday.
The Lions did jump out to an early lead in the game though, with junior forward Allison Greene scoring on a pass from junior forward Jess Berkowitz. Later in the first half, Liz Unger, Rowan’s senior forward, tied the game up with 4:17 remaining in the opening frame. Rowan then came out shooting in the second half and scored five minutes in on a goal by junior midfielder Colleen McGowan, the assist going to sophomore forward Danielle Miranda.
The College had its scoring opportunities for the remaining 34 minutes, but were unable to convert any of those chances into goals. Head coach Sharon Pfluger admitted the loss was a rough one, but said her team is certainly not down for the count.
“We took it hard,” Pfluger said. “After they scored their first goal, it changed the emotion level for the rest of the game for us. The most disappointing thing for me was that they scored right after halftime and we were unable to tie it up for the rest of the game. We made a few mistakes down the stretch and we just couldn’t cash in.”
As always, there were many positives that Pfluger was able to take out of the defeat.
“The girls worked very, very hard,” she said. “We had a lot of beautiful passing combos and we were able to adjust to the things that Rowan was doing.”
As for the players’ reactions to the loss, freshman midfielder Kelly Mitchell said the team is going to move on as fast as possible.
“Every loss is really upsetting and tough for us to accept because we put so much time and effort into the game,” Mitchell said. “We met as a team though, to decide what our problem was and to figure out a way we can fix it, so in our next game we can dominate.”
Last Tuesday, the Lions were able to squeak by Wilkes University 1-0. Freshman midfielder Erin Buchanan scored the only goal for the Lions 14:19 into the game, and the Lions’ defense made the goal hold up to give the College the victory. Not much got past the Lions’ defense, as senior goalie Kristina Beyel only needed to make one save.
After a deflating week, with the loss to Rowan leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouths, Pfluger said there was much to be done and no time to worry about what happened in the past. On Tuesday, the Lions played against Richard Stockton College, the only game on their schedule that was to be played on a natural grass field, as opposed to the usual artificial surface they play on. This was a point of concern for Pfluger and something she said must be prepared for.
“This is a completely different surface than what we’re used to,” Pfluger said. “And it’s not even a nice grass field. We need to be ready to play on that surface.”
The Lions also have a game on Saturday against Salisbury University at home, the team that knocked them out of last year’s NCAA Division III playoffs and went on to win the national championship.