Resilient Lions rally past Rowan in perfect week

Waller scores twice in the Lions’ 6-0 win against Albright. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk.)

The field hockey team may have been down against Rowan University, but for the second time in the past four games, the Lions were not out.

After quickly falling behind 3-1, the Lions (12-2, 4-1) stormed back and scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Owls, 4-3, two days after a 6-0 win over Albright College, which was never a serious doubt.

Junior forwards Lindsey Hatch and Erin Healy continued their impressive play as they combined for three of the six goals against Albright and pushed their season marks to 15 and 13 goals this year, respectively. This duo ranks second and fourth for total individual points in the highly competitive New Jersey Athletic Conference.

“They have both worked so incredibly hard and are talented in different ways,” head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “They complement each other very well, so it’s nice for us to have that on our team.”

Freshman goalie Kelly Schlupp only needed to make one save to keep Albright off the board, as the Lions ousthot their opponents 27-1 in a dominant display.

In the following game against conference rival Rowan, the Lions came in expecting a battle.

“A lot of the NJAC games are very competitive, but I feel like every game is a big game, so our preparation was no different than the preparation from any other game,” Pfluger said. “I just (wanted the girls) to go out and play their game, play hard and learn from the lessons we’ve experienced along the way and do what we are supposed to do.”

After being down in a 3-1 hole deep into the first half, the Lions began to limit their mistakes against the Owls.

“We shifted girls around on the field a little bit and getting that second goal before the second half was really important for us,” Pfluger said. “I think we just started to do the little things really well … and the team (was thinking) that there was no room for error.”

That is exactly what the Lions did in the second half as they maintained possession and remained aggressive to score three consecutive goals. Hatch made the final one to give the Lions the lead and ultimately the victory.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Lions face Ramapo College for their final conference game of the regular season. Despite being the favorites, the women know that they cannot take any game for granted.

“(I expect) that we will play a nice game of hockey and that we capitalize on our opportunities,” Pfluger said. “We just need to continue to play our game and continue to improve every day, and that’s our goal.”

Although the Lions will soon be finished with games within the NJAC, Pfluger stressed that each game following is equally as important.

“I don’t just want to count on (winning the NJAC tournament) because all those other games on our schedule are important,” Pfluger said. “We finish with a very strong schedule … so we have to do well against those teams so that we are positioning ourselves in a high position in our region that is so competitive.”