Lions topple the nation’s No. 1 team

After losing two of its last five games, the College’s field hockey team certainly righted itself on the path to the playoffs and perhaps a national championship by defeating No. 1 ranked Salisbury University on Sunday.

Salisbury went into the game with an 11-0 record, having won its last 44 games. The Lions put an emphatic end to that streak, triumphing over Salisbury by a comfortable score of 3-1.

Freshman forward Jennifer Lubin was the star of the game for the Lions, scoring two goals, doubling her total for the year thus far. Lubin’s first goal came 12:38 into the game with the assist going to junior forward Jess Berkowitz. Near the end of the first half, the College took a 2-0 lead on a goal by freshman midfielder Jenna Durante, her first of the year, assisted by sophomore defender Sheri Grondski.

Salisbury cut the lead in half with 15:49 remaining in the game, but Lubin was able to nail the coffin shut with 1:25 left. She gathered in a stray ball off of a penalty corner and scored, giving the Lions a 3-1 edge in the game, and ultimately the victory.

Lubin said she was happy she was able to contribute to the win, but admits it was a total team effort.

“The whole game today, we felt great,” Lubin said. “It didn’t matter who put the ball in the cage, just as long as someone scored. The assists for both goals were beautiful.”

After going through a few rocky games, head coach Sharon Pfluger said she is pleased with her team.

“We’re really happy,” Pfluger said. “We capitalized on our offensive opportunities and played strong defense. I would hope that the girls feel very confident out there now and feel like they can compete with anybody, because they can.”

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the Lions were involved in perhaps their most exciting game of the year.

The team travelled to Richard Stockton College expecting to play the usual 70 minutes, but instead, ended up playing 100. But even that was not enough to decide a victor.

Junior forward Allison Greene initiated the scoring for the Lions with 22 minutes remaining in the first half, scoring her 10th goal of the year. Richard Stockton tied the game 10 minutes later, but Berkowitz broke the tie shortly after with a goal off of an assist from sophomore midfielder Colleen Dougherty.

With 12:22 left in the game, Richard Stockton scored, and no goals were scored by either team for the remainder of regulation, forcing overtime. No goals were scored in the two overtimes, sending the game to a rare shootout.

Senior defender Kaitlin Wooster gave the Lions the victory, scoring the final goal in the shootout, giving them the 2-1 shootout victory and the 3-2 win in the game. Pfluger was happy with the victory, but said her team dominated the game much more than the box score reflects.

“It ended up being a very exciting situation,” Pfluger said. “We took 39 shots and they only took four. It was on a natural grass field, though, which is something we’re not used to. This is our only game on natural grass for the whole year and it’s a lot different than the turf we’re used to playing on. It was good to get the experience of being in a penalty stroke situation at the end, though.”

The Lions do not play again until next Tuesday at home against Messiah College at 7:30 p.m.