The field hockey team started its season off with a bang, securing its first two wins over the weekend.
The team went into the 2007 season tabbed to finish second behind Rowan University in the New Jersey Athletic Conference by the STX/National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
In Saturday’s season opener versus NCAA Division III opponent Millersville University, the Lions managed to hold on to a 3-2 lead and secure a victory.
The Lions attacked first with a goal from freshman forward/midfielder Gabby Cafone. But the Marauders didn’t go down without a fight, answering back with a goal of their own.
Each team scored once more in the first half, but it was the Lions who rose to the occasion in the second half with a final goal from junior forward Jenny Lubin.
For the remainder of the game the Lions played solid defense, preventing the Marauders from making a comeback to tie the game again.
With one game behind them and confidence from the previous day’s win, the team blew away the competition on Sunday.
The Bombers of Ithaca College fell as the Lions dominated both defensively and offensively. The Lions maintained control of the ball for the majority of the time, outplaying the Bombers in almost every aspect of the game.
With a final score of 5-0, the Lions earned another important victory, putting their current season record at 2-0.
Leading 2-0 going into the second half, freshman midfielder Kellyn Riley, junior forward Kendra Boyd and junior forward/midfielder Katie Reuther tacked on one goal apiece to push the final score to 5-0 and ensure victory for the Lions.
The importance of teamwork became evident during the game as five different players scored each of the team’s goals.
“We played well as a whole,” senior defender Ashleigh Pecherski said. “It is great to know that you have everyone working hard, not only for themselves but for each other out there.”
Pecherski, who is in her final season with the Lions, was able to do her part for the team by netting one of the five goals on Sunday.
After making her debut as the team’s goalkeeper this weekend, junior Caitlin Gregory made a combined total of six saves and recorded her first shutout. Gregory has experience guarding the net as she is also the starting goalkeeper for the lacrosse team.
A handful of freshmen made their own debuts this weekend, proving themselves to be talented players as they made their own contributions to the team. Freshmen forward/midfielder Leigh Mitchell and Riley both earned their first collegiate goals during the game.
Head coach Sharon Pfluger, on the other hand, is hardly a novice to the game. Going into her 23rd year as the College’s head field hockey coach, she has earned an overall record of 402-70-9, including the two most recent wins.
Even with two impressive victories on its record, the team is still dedicated to improving for its next game against Eastern University at home tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
“We have to work on our transition from offense to defense and making sure that we are getting back fast enough to put pressure on the opposing team,” Pecherski said.
Although still early in the season, the recent victories seem to hint that the team is coming back with a vengeance after losing to Messiah College in the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament last season.
“I expect a lot from the team this year,” Pecherski said. “We work very hard and have a lot of heart. As the season progresses, I think everything else will just fall into place.”
So what can be expected from the College’s field hockey team? If the last two games are any indication: an impressive season and quite possibly a championship title.