The preseason fifth-ranked lacrosse team in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll has been busy in the last week, adding three wins to start their season off 4-0. The team tied their scoring record of 22 goals in a single game with their 22-9 win over Eastern University March 16, and almost posted a shutout over Cabrini College on March 18.
The Lions saw themselves trailing early against Eastern. Within the first five minutes of the game, the Eagles managed to outscore the Lions 3-1. But the Eagles wouldn’t stay on top for long. Back to back goals from sophomore midfielders Leigh Mitchell and Kathleen Notos tied the game at three. Junior midfielder Ali Jaeger gave the Lions the lead, and Notos scored again, while senior attacker Lisa Saldeen netted three times in two minutes to make the score 8-3. Eastern would only find the back of the net two more times in the first period, before the College went on a seven-goal streak.
Four goals from Mitchell, two from Jaeger, and one from sophomore attacker Sara Keating brought the score to 15-5 at the half.
The second period would closely resemble the first. A pair of early goals from freshman atacker Jillian Nealon and Jaeger kept the momentum alive. Eastern junior attacker Grace Griffith would score back-to-back in the hopes of sparking some momentum for the Eagles, but the Lions couldn’t be stopped. Leading by as much as 14 goals, the team made a second five-goal run from Saldeen, Jaeger, and Notos. Jaeger finished the night with seven goals and three assists while Mitchell had five goals and four assists. Saldeen and Notos each added four goals to their season tally. Junior goalie Mary Waller came up big with seven saves on the night.
“It feels really great to be back and playing with everyone again,” said Mitchell, who tore her ACL around the same time last year and had to miss the rest of the season. “I think we are a very close team this year which makes it even more fun to be out on the field when you are playing with your best friends.”
The Lions travelled to Cabrini on March 18. They were rewarded with a near perfect 19-1 victory over the Cavaliers. Unlike the game against Eastern, the College never trailed the home team. Jaeger wasted no time setting the pace, finding the net in only 56 seconds. She would score five goals in the first period alone, alongside Nealon and senior attacker Robin Deehan who both had three goals, Saldeen who scored twice and finally Keating and Notos who had one each. The Lions went into the half 15-0.
They would net only four times in the second half. Saldeen, Mitchell, Jaeger and Notos each added one to the tally, before junior attacker Jamie O’Hanlon spoiled the
Lions’ shutout with 5:52 left in the game. Waller only had four saves the entire game.
But the Lions weren’t done yet. In their final game of the week, the College visited Drew University on March 20 looking to continue their unbeaten run. Their explosive offensive style changed to strong defense as they pulled off a 6-4 over the Rangers. Once again, Jaeger put the Lions on the scoreboard first after four minutes. Sophomore attacker Aileen Musynke tied the score before Mitchell put the College up 2-1 before the half.
Drew’s junior attacker Cara Jeffries evened the score close to the restart, but a goal from Notos gave the Lions the advantage. Saldeen and Deehan also scored, giving them a 5-2 lead. Jaeger scored her second of the day, sandwiched in-between goals from Jefferies and sophomore midfielder Lyndsay Rossi to secure their fourth-consecutive win. In just four games, the Lions’ tally now stands at 63 goals scored and 20 goals allowed.
“Our passing game on attack has really improved this year, and that has made a big impact on our scoring. We read each other really well, and we aren’t afraid to make the ‘thread the needle’ passes,” Jaeger said.
The College takes on Ursinus College this Thursday at 7 p.m. in Lions’ Stadium.