The Lions went into last week looking to extend a six-game winning streak when everything changed in a flash – literally.
The College led Ramapo College by four goals at the half when the game was postponed due to a lightning storm.
The two rivals will meet again on Thursday, Oct. 25 to resume play.
But the Lions’ troubles did not end with the storm. In a Saturday showdown of top-ranked teams, the No. 2 College fell to No. 3 Salisbury University 3-1, ending the Lions’ winning streak.
The loss marks the first time the Lions did not emerge victorious at home this season.
Both teams stepped on the field ready for battle and played an intense but scoreless first half. Most of the action took place in the midfield, with each team struggling to get a shot on goal. Both the Lions and Sea Gulls were only able to get off three shots each during the first half.
“We dominated in between the 25’s,” junior goalkeeper Caitlin Gregory said. “We just didn’t play as well as we could have in the two circles.”
The Lions were the first to strike offensively in the second half, as junior forward Jenny Lubin directed a shot into the corner of the cage off of a penalty corner.
The Sea Gulls came back with a vengeance, pushing the ball up field and scoring a mere 38 seconds later.
“After we scored, I think we may have relaxed for a minute,” Gregory said. “That’s when they came back and tied it up.”
A scramble in front of the goal caused the Lions’ eventual downfall when a stray ball made it past Gregory, putting the Sea Gulls on the better side of a 2-1 advantage.
An additional goal by the Sea Gulls with six minutes remaining sealed the Lions’ defeat.
The Lions played strong defense throughout the game, including a defensive save by senior midfielder Colleen Dougherty. Gregory had four saves in the game.
The game represented Salisbury’s 12th consecutive victory and improved them to 13-1 on the season.
The Lions fell to 9-2 but remain undefeated and ranked first in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play. The Lions went 6-0 in conference play in the 2006 season.
Gregory said she and her teammates will not allow the game to break their focus.
“We have three games this week, so we can’t just dwell on the loss,” Gregory said. “We have to move on and get ready for this week.”
The Lions get the chance to redeem themselves this week, playing two NJAC opponents.
The Lions will go on the road to face the Pioneers of William Paterson University on Saturday at 1 p.m. before hosting the Cougars of Kean University on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.