A field hockey cage is normally seven feet high and 12 feet wide, but those dimensions didn’t seem to apply to the Lions when they faced off against Richard Stockton College.
The cage seemed to be larger for the Lions offense as they put in five goals on the day – tied for a season high, while the cage seemed to shrink for the Lions defense, who only allowed one goal to touch the back of their cage.
The Lions offense has taken off since a loss to Ursinus College on Sept. 21. Since that loss, the Lions have averaged five-goals-per-game in three victories and have improved their record to 9-2 on the season.
“I think the key to our success offensively is the support from every line on the field,” junior Leigh Mitchell said. “The support from the backs to the midfielders and midfielders to forwards has stepped up, which has helped us to maintain a solid offensive pressure throughout the game.”
Friday’s game was a balanced attack as four different Lions were able to find the back of the cage.
Senior forward Jessica Falcone had the most notable game as she scored back-to-back goals that left the game at 5-0 at the time.
One of those goals was assisted by Mitchell, who also added a goal of her own about 40 minutes into the contest.
Mitchell and Falcone now share the team lead with seven goals each, while Mitchell also leads the Lions with six assists on the year.
Although Mitchell and Falcone have given the Lions the most offensive power this season, it was sophomore forward Caitlyn Jenkins who put in the Lions’ first goal off a pass from junior Kathleen Notos.
Notos had quite a day herself as she not only assisted on Jenkins’s goal, but also added a goal of her own in the second half, which was ironically assisted by Jenkins.
“I think the team is finally clicking offensively,” Mitchell said. “We are able to read each other more on the field and we are able to capitalize more on our opportunities.”
Not to be upstaged by any means, the Lions defense also came to play against the Ospreys on Friday giving up a lone goal on five shots.
Senior Mary Waller was a key part to the Lions defensive effort as she recorded her second defensive save of the season.
The Lions will ride their recent success into the highly anticipated matchup against No. 4 Messiah College on Oct. 7.
“Having strong games offensively lately should help with our confidence going into a big game this week with Messiah,” Mitchell said. “We know we are working well as a unit and have the ability to score, so we just need to carry that over.”