Defense shuts out again as Lions win

Moving forward in an undefeated season, the College’s field hockey team has one thing on their minds: paying attention to detail.

That has been the focus for the No. 1-ranked Lions, who extended their winning streak to 20 games in a 3-0 victory over Juniata College. After going ahead early in the contest, the Lions fell back on their defense, which recorded its third shutout of the season.

“Our defensive unit has been strong because of our attention to detail,” senior midfielder Camille Passucci said. “Defense is about strong, disciplined fundamentals and we have definitely been focusing on making sure the simple things are done correctly every time.”

Freshman goalkeeper Roisin Dougherty continued to play well in the cage, making one save, while sophomore defender Lauren Pigott notched her second defensive save of the season.

Whether it’s scoring goals or preventing them, the College is playing at a high level. (Photo by Chandler Hart-McGonigle)

“(Pigott) is such an integral part of our team,” Passucci explained. “At the center back position, she has a lot of responsibility and has been handling it so well. She has improved tremendously already this season and is always looking to get better.”

Offensively, the Lions received goals from three different players, starting with a goal by sophomore forward Erin Healy, who scored 26 seconds into the contest. Healy has now scored five goals on the season — all of which have come in the last four games.

“Healy is such a strong girl that when she directs her shots on cage, they almost always find the back of the net,” Passucci said. “She has been so successful lately because she has focused on staying low and directing all her strength and momentum towards cage, which has really increased her scoring opportunities.”

Later in the first half, senior forward Jillian Nealon scored her team-leading 11th goal of the season off an assist from sophomore midfielder Victoria Martin, who also assisted on Healy’s goal.

The final goal of the game came about 15 minutes into the second half when sophomore midfielder Erin Waller directed a pass from Passucci into the back of the cage on a penalty corner. It’s a shot that Passucci says is becoming second-nature to Waller.

“Waller constantly practices her direct corner hit,” Passucci said. “She was so successful in this game because she has practiced that hit countless times to the point where it undoubtedly feels natural.”

The Lions will face their most difficult test of the season when No. 16-ranked Ursinus College comes to the College for a 7 p.m. start on Thursday, Sept. 27. That contest will be followed by another tough contest against William Paterson University on Saturday, Sept. 29.