Shot through the heart

What was supposed to be a battle between two of the nation’s top defensive teams turned into an offensive showdown with the Lions coming out victorious over the Bullets of Gettysburg College, 17-13.

Going into the game, the undefeated Lions held the title of the nation’s top defensive team, allowing only 3.29 goals per game while the Bullets held their opponents to 5.29 goals per game.

“It was very intense,” senior goalkeeper Caitlin Gregory said. “We didn’t play a perfect game, but we knew we needed to win and were determined to come out on top.”

Less than five minutes had ticked off the game clock before Gettysburg launched an offensive strike, scoring twice to take an early lead.

The Lions regrouped offensively when freshman midfielder Leigh Mitchell netted the Lions’ first goal off a pass from senior forward Karen Doane. Doane took control of the game, netting two consecutive unassisted goals minutes later.

Unfortunately for the Lions, it only took 26 seconds before the Bullets tied the score.

Freshman midfielder Alison Jaeger was the next to tally a point for the Lions, netting the go-ahead goal before assisting junior midfielder Katie Reuther for another point with just more than seven minutes left in the first half.

The two teams continued to trade goals for the remaining minutes, and the Lions took an 8-5 lead into halftime.

Toward the beginning of the second half, a seemingly revamped Gettysburg knocked in four quick goals while its defense held strong against the Lions’ offensive assault.

After nearly 15 minutes without a Lions goal, sophomore forward Angela Wilmer lifted the Lions with another point on an unassisted goal. With the score tied, the Lions ran away with the lead, netting five consecutive goals from four different players.

“They double- and triple-teamed Karen Doane the entire game,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “Since the team is very well balanced, we had eight players contribute to the scoring.”

With less than 10 minutes to play, the Bullets tried in vain to close the gap, scoring twice more. Holding on to a 14-11 lead, the College responded with three more goals before Gettysburg put in the last two goals of the game to make the final score 17-13.

The 13 goals were the most allowed by the Lions this season. Gregory made six saves.

Doane, the Lions’ leading scorer, added four goals while Jaeger contributed three.

“The team is really psyched and feeling confident with everyone on the team,” Pfluger said. “They are all ready to meet the next challenge.”

The team returns to Lions’ Stadium Saturday to take on the Sea Gulls of Salisbury University at 5 p.m.