Field hockey scores early and often in 2-0 week

Healy’s scoring streak keeps the Lions in the win column. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk.)

Another two games and another two victories for the field hockey team, as the Lions extended their impressive winning streak to nine games last week.

The first win came against Manhattanville College, as the women dominated the Valiants in a 6-0 win. The Lions were back in action just three days later, with the difficult challenge of playing William Patterson University, a New Jersey Athletic Conference team. Despite facing their rival, the Lions were resilient and cruised to a 7-2 victory.

“We are extremely happy because we have been having a lot of hard practices lately and those games showed that they have paid off,” sophomore defender Mikayla Cimilluca said. “We have been doing a lot of different drills in short spurts, which is very intense in that short amount of time.”

These new types of drills have certainly paid off, as the Lions have been nearly unstoppable on both sides of the ball. During their winning streak, the women have outscored their opponents 35-4.

This week, junior forwards Erin Healy and Lindsey Hatch each had monster games and scored five and six goals, respectively.

“It benefits the whole team because having them score so many goals allows the ball to stay on the offensive end a lot,” Cimilluca said. “It allows the whole team to push up and play together, which takes the weight off our shoulders.”

Even with the big leads early, Cimilluca knows that there is never time to have a brief lapse in concentration.

“Just because there is a big gap between us and the other team, we still have to (be aggressive),” she said. “Even though we beat William Patterson 7-2, it was still a very competitive and physical game because the goals didn’t come easy to us and we had to work extremely hard to get them.”

Next week will be a much tougher test as they host Eastern University and then travel up to play the nation’s top team, Montclair State University.

Before looking too far ahead, the Lions’ first concern is the Eagles.

“Eastern is a highly skilled team and we always have very close games with them. So we just need to play like a team and we should win,” Cimilluca said.

This game should be a good one as it sets up perhaps the season’s most important game.

“I think Eastern is a very good game to have before we play Montclair because their styles are similar,” Cimilluca said. “We just have to come out strong and score first so we can catch them on their heels a little bit.”

Despite the Red Hawks’ ranking, the College has had much success against them in the past, winning five of their last six meetings.

“I think it is going to be a very fast-paced game because they are a highly skilled team and very fast,” Cimilluca said. “We just want to keep control of the game, so to do that we will have to score early and force a lot of corners.”

In order to come out on top, Cimilluca says that they have to head into the game as if it was like any other.

“There is always pressure, especially because it is an NJAC game. But I think that we have to put that aside and just play the game, because it depends on how we show up that day,” she said.  “If we play well then we will win.”