College loses after claiming the No. 1-ranking; drop heart-breaker to Rowan

Kathleen Notos plays defense. (Tim Lee/Photo Editor)

The College had no sooner risen to the top of the women’s lacrosse Division III standings then the team was knocked out in a close game at home.

The Lions came into their match against rival Rowan University with the No. 1 ranking in the latest Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III poll. Unfortunately, the Lions did not bring their best effort and fell 12-11 to the Profs, who improved their record to 8-4.

“We just needed to play smarter,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “I kind of feel like we woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We were just a little off all game.”

The Profs’ defense did not make things any easier as they were able to contain the stick of junior midfielder Ali Jaeger. Jaeger, who was recently named a candidate for the 2010 Tewaaraton Award, was held to one goal.

“A lot of teams just try to mark (Jaeger),” Pfluger said. “She does really well with that, but I don’t want her to feel like she’s the only one who has to go to goal because we have a lot of other good players.”

With Jaeger’s stick being controlled, sophomore midfielder Leigh Mitchell did all she could to keep the Lions in the game as she scored seven of the Lions 11 goals and tacked on two assists as well.

The College dropped to 11-1. (Tim Lee/Photo Editor)

“We just needed to get goals,” Mitchell said. “I happened to be the hot person, so when we needed it I had to go to goal.”

The Lions couldn’t seem to get their offense attack into gear in the first half and struggled to maintain ball control throughout the match.

“In the beginning we played very lackadaisical,” Pfluger said. “It’s not like us at all and I think we were just so high coming off the Salisbury game. All these other games are so important to us though and I think we were just lackadaisical in the beginning.”

The Lions were able to chip away at a 7-3 deficit and pull within one goal at half-time, but the Profs just wouldn’t allow the Lions to even things up in the second half.

Both teams exchanged back-and-forth goals for 30 minutes until the Profs circulated the ball around to eat up the last 40 seconds to finish off the upset.

The Lions’ defense protects the net. (Tim Lee/Photo Editor)

“Nobody likes to lose,” Pfluger said. “You just hope that it’s a learning experience and we’re better for it. You sit in it right now and suffer through it, but you say, ‘okay what’s going to come out of this,’ because we have to move forward.”

“We just have to learn from this loss,” Mitchell said. “We can’t take any team lightly and we have to come out every game like it’s a big game.”

The Lions followed these words as they returned to form in their next game against Frostburg State University with a 19-3 victory.

Jaeger came back with six goals and two assists to move into ninth-place on the College’s all-time scoring list.

Senior attacker Robin Deehan added to Jaeger’s performance with four goals of her own. Mitchell and senior attacker Lisa Seldeen also helped the Lions improve their record to 11-1 with three goals each.

The Lions have another tough test looming as Franklin and Marshall, the defending Division III champions, will come to Lions Stadium on April 23.