Lions in driver’s seat heading into playoffs

Harkins plays a role in four goals against WPU. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk.)

With three games left in regular season play, the Lions continued to close in on a top seed in the NJAC playoffs with an 8-1 win at William Paterson University and a 1-1 tie with Kean University.

Relentless in every game they play, the Lions (12-1-1, 5-1-1) have proven to the conference why they deserve a spot in the post-season and ended this week at the top of the standings.

They were still coming off of a high after beating then-No. 2 Johns Hopkins University in double overtime last week, which provided some motivation before traveling to WPU.

“I’m so proud of the team because of how we came back from a 1-0 deficit at halftime to win the game 2-1 in double overtime,” junior defender Jordan Downs said. “That was a huge win for us and a big confidence boost after losing to Montclair.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Lions scored a season-high number of goals in an 8-1 victory at WPU. The Lions’ offense shined like never before, with junior forward  Korrie Harkins opening the scoring just 36 seconds in.

Just a few minutes later, freshman midfielder Sarah Marion doubled the College’s advantage by tapping in a shot from senior forward Katie Lindacher.

The Pioneers fought their way back into the game with a goal in the 24th minute, but junior forward Leigh Applestein made sure there was not more damage done by scoring her fifth goal of the year in the 27th minute off a feed from freshman forward Christine Levering.

In the second half, the goals came fast and furious as Harkins scored again and Marion added another two — both of which were assisted by Harkins — from the 53rd to 55th minute.

The final goal of the game came from freshman midfielder Lauren Malajian, assisted by junior forward Gina Caprara, with 20 minutes left in the game.

It was a dominant offensive display on the stat sheet as well as the scoreboard, as the Lions had a total of 19 shots on goal to WPU’s four.

Goalkeepers senior Kendra Griffith, junior Cristina Gacos and sophomore Jessica Weedler all contributed with a save to limit the Pioneers to one goal.

Next, on Saturday, Oct. 19, the Lions used a late goal to earn a 1-1 tie against Kean. The Cougars scored first, but the Lions’ offense quickly stepped up and began barreling down the field.  The Lions outshot their opponents 33-6 but could not find the back of the net heading into the game’s final stages.

With 7:56 remaining in the game, though, Lindacher scored and evened out the score on an assist from Downs. Griffith finished the game with two saves.

Levering describes the way the players are able to communicate on the field, due to “great chemistry.”

“This has a lot to do with our success,” Levering said. “But we still have a long way to go.”

This week, the Lions take on Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. and New Jersey City University on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 1 p.m.