College takes over Devils

Junior Alexandria Okuniewicz scored for the Lions on Saturday. (tcnjathletics.com)

The College’s field hockey team continued their balanced attack as the Lions improved their record to 5-0 with a 3-1 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson University – Florham.

The Lions have come into the 2010 season on fire after experiencing a somewhat disappointing season in 2009.

Through the first five games the Lions have averaged ten shots-on-cage and 2.4 goals-per-game.

The Lions wasted no time on offense against the Devils as they put the first ball into the cage 4:10 into the match.

The goal was the fourth goal of the season for Jessica Falcone, who leads the team in that category.

Falcone has almost matched her goal production of five from last season, which was her first season back after tearing her Anterior Cruciate Ligament playing lacrosse in 2008.

The senior seems to be back on her promising sophomore pace where she scored nine goals and had five assists.

“Jess has been great so far,” junior Leigh Mitchell said. “She works really hard and it’s nice to see her capitalize on her opportunities. She’s given our team a big offensive threat and she’s stepped up on defensive too.”

Mitchell also knocked in a goal in the win over the Devils to increase her season total to three. Mitchell, like Falcone, is also regaining her pre-ACL tear form this season for the Lions.

So far, both Mitchell and Falcone lead the Lions in points this season with eight each.

“We’ve had a lot of opportunities that we could have capitalized on in the circle,” Mitchell said. “I think in general as a team we are working really hard. The success we’ve had so far has come through our combined effort and the experience we have.”

The Lions other goal came off the stick of junior Alex Okuniewicz. The goal was her first of the season.

The Lions defense has been just as strong as the offense as they have held their opponents to 3.4 shots-on-cage and under a goal-per-game.

Saturday’s game fit right into that pattern as the Lions only gave the Devils one shot-on-cage and one goal as the Devils dropped to 2-3 on the season.

The sole goal of the game for the Devils came when junior Lauren Guenther found the back of the cage with 10:45 left in the game, but at that time it was just too late.

The Lions will play the third game of the season against a ranked opponent on Sept. 14 as they travel to Eastern University to face the No. 19 Eagles. After the match with the Eagles, the Lions will look to face-off with Alvernia University on Sept. 19.

“It’s really good for us to get tested early,” Mitchell said. “That way we can see where we are at and gain confidence in ourselves. I personally like playing in big games because we have to be ready for them because we know everyone is going to give us a battle.”