DiBruno nets three in Lions’ latest win

Still undefeated, the women’s soccer team dealt losses to Montclair State University and Gwynedd-Mercy College this week, while tying Richard Stockton College.

The No. 2 ranked Lions now stand at 7-0-1 on the season and 2-0-1 in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play.

Senior forward Dana DiBruno led the College’s 6-0 assault against Gwynedd-Mercy on Monday, scoring the first two goals and finishing with a hat trick.

Just 2:19 into the game, DiBruno redirected a cross from sophomore midfielder Kristen Cubicciotti to give the Lions the lead. In the 17th minute, she put away her second goal, assisted by junior forward Jamie Kunkel.

Kunkel followed her assist with a goal of her own to push the lead to three. She now leads the team in goals scored with seven.

DiBruno completed her hat trick in the 25th minute and moved to No. 3 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 46 goals and 20 assists.

Senior defender Toni-Anne Cavallo and sophomore forward Casey Riley each contributed a goal to the Lions’ cause.

Three of the Lions’ goalkeepers, junior Amy Hashem, junior Kristina Kuda and sophomore Jessica Clarke, saw time in the net in the Lions’ sixth shutout of the year.

Held scoreless for the first time this season, the Lions battled Richard Stockton to a 0-0 draw at home on Wednesday. It was the second time in as many seasons that the Lions and the Ospreys have played even.

Despite out-shooting the Ospreys 29-4 and earning seven corner kicks compared to the Ospreys’ one, the Lions could not capitalize with a goal.

“We had many dangerous opportunities to score, and unfortunately we just couldn’t find the back of the net,” DiBruno said. “Stockton played with a deep sweeper and marked person to person, so it changed the dynamic of the game for us.”

Senior forward Beth Pagano had the best opportunity to give the Lions the lead six minutes into the second half. Her shot made it past junior goalkeeper Alex Rogers but slammed off of the far post.

Clarke needed two saves to record her third shutout of the season.

For the Ospreys, Rogers made seven saves and earned her second consecutive shutout.

“We are never satisfied with anything less then a commanding victory, and we work hard every day to continuously improve as a team,” DiBruno said. “We will look forward to a rematch with Stockton in the NJAC tournament.”

The Lions went back to their winning ways on Saturday with a 5-1 victory over the Montclair Red Hawks.

As a result of the Lions evenly distributing the ball, five different players tallied a goal in the contest.

In the 30th minute, freshman defender Brittany McGinley got the Lions on the board with her first goal of her collegiate career.

DiBruno extended the lead in the 51st minute with a goal and Kunkel followed up just minutes later by finishing a pass from Cubicciotti.

Sophomore midfielder Melissa Martin and junior midfielder Nicole Papola rounded out the Lions scoring with their first goals of the season.

Montclair’s sophomore forward Natalia Sisti found the back of the net with just seven minutes left, ending what would have been six consecutive Lions shutouts.

It was the first goal allowed by the Lions since their season opener.

Though the team is using its new 4-3-3 formation, which takes away a defensive player and adds an attacker, the Lions’ defense has not seemed to be affected by the loss.

“Our defense has been solid with our core players returning,” head coach Joe Russo said. “Although there is another player up front, our new formation is possession-oriented.”

“I think this style of play benefits the entire team because of our good technical ability,” he continued. “We look to our midfielders to dictate the flow of the game and to distribute the ball to the entire team.”

The Lions’ next game will be today at Rutgers University-Camden at 7 p.m. Then, the Lions will take on Rutgers University-Newark at home on Saturday at noon.