Lubin, Lions light up Marauders

Millersville University’s junior goalkeeper Jessica Heckman left Lions’ Stadium Saturday with a very simple message for any rival keeper trying to stop senior Jenny Lubin:

Be afraid.

The pugnacious forward fired three goals past Heckman, earning a hat trick as the No. 3 Lions rolled over the visiting Marauders 5-2, picking up a non-conference win in their home opener.

Lubin put the Lions up at 16:47 in the first period, redirecting a pass from senior forward/midfielder Kelly Mitchell, but the Marauders struck back almost immediately, tying the game up a minute later when sophomore defender Emily Woodland scored off a penalty corner.

The Lions’ All-American forward took over from there, ringing up her hat trick before the end of the first period. Lubin put the Lions up 2-1 with 14 minutes to go, and completed the feat two minutes later with another timely assist from Mitchell.

With the Marauders reeling, senior forward Kendra Boyd put the visitors on the ropes, drilling a shot past Heckman off a penalty corner at the tail end of the first half.

Marauder junior forward Kristie Testa tried to start a rally early in the second half when she beat freshman goalkeeper Shannon Syciarz to close the gap to 4-2, but the Lion defense locked down from there, trapping the Marauders in their own zone for a majority of the half. They peppered Heckman’s replacement in the net, freshman goalkeeper Sara Dickinson, with shot attempt after shot attempt.

Their persistence finally paid off with just under eight minutes remaining, when sophomore forward/midfielder Leigh Mitchell scooped up a pass from freshman forward/midfielder Allie Barrington in front of the net, firing a backhander past Dickinson to put the game out of reach. It was Barrington’s first collegiate point.

“I feel like my hard work during pre-season has paid off,” an ecstatic Barrington said.

Syciarz had three saves in her debut at goalkeeper, and Heckman and Dickinson had nine and five, respectively. The Lions’ ferocious defense limited the Marauders to a meager six shots on goal while the home team racked up 23 attempts on the visitor’s goalkeepers.

It was not all sunshine for the women’s field hockey team on Saturday, though. Lubin had a scary moment midway through the second half when she went down after a stray ball smacked her in the face. She made it off the field clutching her eye, but did not return. There was no further information available about the extent of her injury, if any.

The Lions return to action tomorrow night, hosting Cabrini College in Lions’ Stadium at 7:30 p.m.