The College’s field hockey team bounced back strong from a loss for the second week in a row as junior forwards Leigh Mitchell and Kathleen Notos led the Lions to two victories over William Paterson University and Neumann University.
“We have to have the ability to bounce back,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “We have to bounce right back, [the loss] is over with and we have to move on.”
The Lions had no trouble doing that as they won by a combined score of 10-0 in their games against the Pioneers and the Knights.
“It’s important to win every game because every game counts,” Mitchell said. “So, especially off a loss, we really want to come out strong, so we get our confidence back and ready to go.”
Mitchell showed plenty of confidence during the week as she had two assists against the Knights after recording a hat trick – which gave her a team-leading six goals – earlier in the week in the 5-0 victory over the Pioneers.
“We have a lot of support from everyone in the circle,” Mitchell said. “I just happened to get the finishing touches and it’s really just everyone’s combined effort to get it up in goal.”
Notos wasn’t far behind Mitchell as she finished the week with two goals and an assist. Her two goals against the Knights matched the first-year player’s total for the rest of the season.
Notos – who is a junior, but a newcomer to the field hockey team – now ranks second on the team with 12 points, fourth in goals with four and second in assists with four behind senior Mary Waller, who added her team-leading 5th assist in the 5-0 win over the Knights.
“I honestly think I’ve been so successful because of the experience from lacrosse,” Notos said. “I kind of lose the nerves of it being my first time playing field hockey because I played two years of lacrosse, so it’s kind of the same thing and the same competiveness.”
The Lions defense kept up their dominant pace as they held the Pioneers to only three shots and did not allow the Knights to get a single shot off as junior goalie Shannon Syciarz recorded her third and fourth shutout of the season.
“I thought that the defenders played really well,” Pfluger said. “They all supported each other well, communicated and I’m really proud of them.”
The Lions might have been able to add a few more goals against the Knights, but they struggled with ball control in the first half.
“I thought the first half we missed the ball a lot when we could have connected,” Pfluger said. “I’m happy that we did in the second half and there were some really nice goals. You know, assist, deflection, goal. We did better as the game went on.”
Freshman forward Sarah Cummings was one of the highlights of the second half as she came off the bench with much needed energy and scored her second goal of the season.
“Sarah’s got a lot of potential,” Pfluger said. “We’re really happy with her. She just keeps getting better every day.”
Two Lions recorded their first goals of the season this week as sophomore forward Caitlyn Jenkins and sophomore defender Christy Wham each put one in the back of the cage.
The Lions return to New Jersey Athletic Conference play on Oct. 1 as they face off with Richard Stockton College.