Pfluger reaches 300 career wins in 20 years

Head coach Sharon Pfluger became only the second member of the 300-win club in women’s NCAA Division III history on Thursday when the fourth-ranked Lions’ lacrosse team defeated Colorado College 15-5.

Pfluger, committed to the team concept, gave the credit to the entire program.

“Quite a few alumni were at the game,” Pfluger said. “It was neat that they were there to feel the thrill that evening. They’re a part of it; they’re always a part of it.”

Pfluger, in her 20th year as head coach, joins William Smith College’s Pat Genovese as the only coaches in Division III history to have earned 300 wins. Pfluger has a career record of 300-23-1.

Genovese has a career record of 325-118-1 in her 33 seasons with the Herons lacrosse team. In all divisions, only three coaches have reached the 300-win mark: the University of Maryland’s Cindy Timchal (25th season, 334-83), Genovese and Pfluger.

“I’m thrilled for everybody,” Pfluger said. “This just gives me an opportunity to think back on all the great coaches we’ve had here and the great players. A flash of all these memories just runs through your brain in a second. It’s been fun.”

“It’s obviously a great accomplishment,” senior captain Lauren Dougher said. “It’s how she teaches; she’s just a great coach. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Last week, Dougher was named one of the top 21 finalists for the 2006 Tewaaraton Award. This award is given to the top collegiate women’s lacrosse Player of the Year from each NCAA division. Dougher is the only finalist from Division III.

The top five finalists for the award will be announced on June 1. This season alone, Dougher has scored 39 goals with 18 assists for 57 total points. Dougher is five goals short of becoming the College’s all-time leading goal scorer, and she is also only seven assists shy of a career high.

The Lions (9-2), who extended their winning streak to seven games, scored the game’s first six goals and never looked back. Senior midfielder Bridget Bigley scored three of those goals and freshman attacker Rachel Gordon notched two.

After the Tigers (8-5) scored back-to-back goals by junior midfielders Kerry O’Shaughnessy and Robin Harvey, the Lions responded by closing out the half with five consecutive goals to take an 11-2 lead.

Bigley netted the first two off of Dougher’s passes. Dougher then scored the next two while sophomore midfielder Toni-Anne Cavallo followed with the final goal with just four seconds remaining in the half.

In the second half, the Tigers challenged the Lions with a 4-3 edge in goals, but it was not enough to overcome the large first-half deficit.

Dougher and Bigley both had big games, combining for 10 goals and five assists. Dougher had five goals and four assists, while Bigley added five goals and one assist.

“They’re a good team; they work well together,” Pfluger said. “They can reach each other well. There were really some beautiful combinations between them.”

For the Tigers, O’Shaughnessy finished with a pair of goals.

In goal for the Lions, senior Megan Marquardt had one save and senior Paige Lucard had two, as the Lions’ defense kept pressure off the goalies.

The away game on April 22 against Frostburg State University was cancelled due to rain. Action resumes Friday when the Lions host Susquehanna University at 7 p.m.