Lions coast into tourney with pair of wins

The No. 3 Lions prepared to close out the regular season this week, coming away with two big wins over in-state rival Rowan University and Frostburg State University.

The Lions celebrated Senior Day at their final regular season home game of the year, honoring senior defender Christine Cavallo, senior goalkeeper Caitlin Gregory, senior midfielders Toni-Anne Cavallo and Karen Doane, as well as senior forward Diane Haddeland.

“They have been outstanding leaders both on and off the field,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “They have done such tremendous things on the field for us and are terrific role models for our younger players.”

Their efforts were honored with a final 18-8 home victory over the Profs of Rowan University.

The Lions put the first three points on the scoreboard, with junior defender Kelly Mitchell scoring the game’s first goal six minutes in. Sophomore Lisa Seldeen netted her ninth and 10th goals of the season, scoring twice in less than one minute.

The Profs quickly responded with a shot on goal that just managed to get past the Gregory’s stick.

Seldeen collected a hat trick in the first half, netting her third goal with just over 16 minutes left to play.

The two teams traded goals again before the Lions put together a three-goal offensive spree coming off the sticks of junior midfielder Katie Reuther, freshman attack Alison Jaeger and Seldeen. The final goal by Seldeen left the Lions with a comfortable 9-3 lead going into halftime.

The Lions’ offense was equally effective in the second half with the team doubling the score by the final whistle.

Rowan was the first to jump at a scoring opportunity in the second half, their first goal coming 1:15 into play.

Toni-Anne Cavallo was able to break the Profs’ defense three times in five minutes, allowing the Lions to take their biggest lead of the game with a score of 15-6. Cavallo scored once more in the final half for a game-leading five goals.

Gregory tallied eight saves in the game for her 25th career victory.

The Lions continued their winning streak, earning their fifth-straight victory on Saturday and offensively dominating the Bobcats of Frostburg by a score of 14-1.

The Lions gained control of the game almost instantly after Doane scored off of the opening draw. Jaeger quickly followed with two goals of her own.

The remainder of the game was just as one-sided. The Lions scored 14 goals before the Bobcats were able to sneak one goal past with 24 seconds left to make it a 14-1 game.

Gregory split shifts with her successor, freshman goalkeeper Mary Waller. Both players recorded a save in the game.

The Lions rounded out the regular season yesterday, playing their final regular season game against the No. 19 Ducks of Stevens Institute of Technology.

The Lions’ extremely successful 11-1 season earned them a surefire bid to the NCAA tournament for the 24th consecutive year in the program’s history.

“One of the most important parts of having a successful team is the team unity,” Pfluger said. “It is a vital concept that each player understands that wearing the uniform of their team is only the beginning and that it is so important to completely understand that playing time is a result of productivity at practice and in games … on and off the field.”

Last season, the Lions reached the quarterfinals before suffering an 11-10 loss at the hands of Middlebury College. This season, the team is gunning for a championship.

Pfulger said, “We are all looking forward to a great finish as we want nothing more than to have our seniors walk off the field completely happy.”