Field hockey shuts down No. 3 Salisbury

The Lions earn their second win against a top-30 team this year. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

There was not a hint of nervous energy last Saturday, Sept. 28 when the field hockey team faced the third-ranked Salisbury University. Despite being the underdogs, the Lions came in with a game plan, executed it and then walked away with a 1-0 win in arguably their biggest victory of the young season.

“We just wanted to play our game and stick to our game plan, so it didn’t matter how well they played,” junior forward Erin Healy said. “We knew we would be able to stick with them and that if we did that, then we would beat them.”

The lone goal came 20:36 minutes into the game when Healy capitalized on a loose ball in the offensive circle, set up by junior midfielder Erin Waller, who earned the assist. This marks the sixth goal of the season for Healy, who now leads the Lions with 15 points.

“(Scoring first) was crucial because we knew that we would then get the momentum that would keep us going,” Healy said. “So when we got that first goal, we knew that it would be much easier to play our game.”

After losing to the Sea Gulls last year 4-1, the Lions came in with a specific game plan in order to avenge their previous defeat.

“We knew from playing them in the past that we (needed a quick start) because it is a lot harder to come from behind against them,” Healy said. “We wanted to set the tone of how fast the game is played and make up for each other’s mistakes and keep the ball in the offensive zone (in order to) keep the momentum up.”

Once the Lions got ahead, they were able to rely on their defense for the remainder of the game.

“It was really tough (to maintain the one goal lead), but our defense played so phenomenally,” Healy said. ‘It was very hard to keep Salisbury scoreless, but at the same time, I knew that our defense was playing so well that we would pull out the win.”

Healy also added that the reason for the team’s success was due partially to its camaraderie.

“I felt like we were going to win that game if everyone was on the same page,” she said. “We were all expecting to have a good game out of each other and that we would be able to keep up with them and win the game when we got ourselves going and play as a team.”

This week, the women have two away games as they travel to Manhattanville College and conference rival William Patterson University.

“I am beyond happy. We are playing so well as a team and just being there for each other on the field we have been really good,” Healy said. “I expect us to win them both and dominate them like we have been doing.  If we keep playing the way we have been playing, then no one can stop us.”