Lions stay true to form in final stages

In the past two weeks, the women’s soccer team has shown why it deserves a spot in the NJAC playoffs. Finishing up the regular season with a 15-2-1 record and defeating Ramapo College 4-0 in its playoff opener, these players have all proved their worth on the field, no matter what kind of situation the Lions find themselves in.

Applestein scores twice in the Lions’ 4-0 playoff victory. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, the Lions took on Stevens Institute of Technology with full force and came out victorious, winning 3-0. The Lions attacked first and netted the first goal of the game with only 2:37 elapsed as freshman midfielder Sarah Marion assisted junior forward Leigh Applestein for the goal.

The second goal came about 14 minutes later as senior forward Katie Lindacher rushed down the field, bumping the score to 2-0.

In the second half, the Lions earned their final goal, rounding out the scoring as sophomore midfielder Taylor Lusardi sent one flying into the net.

The Lions defense played another game of impeccable defense, limiting their opponents’ chances and picking up its 10th shutout of the year. Senior Kendra Griffith was in goal for the Lions, notching her fifth solo shutout of the season.

The team made this win seem effortless, but the Lions knew not to relax in the last two games of the season. In their second to last game against New Jersey City University, the Lions propelled themselves to a 7-0 victory.

Scoring five times in the first half, the Lions knew what was at stake in this game and the game to come. With 6:48 into the first half, Marion assisted sophomore midfielder Shannon White with the first goal of the game. From that point on, the ball seemed to find their opponents’ net on its own.

Freshman midfielder Lauren Malajian, freshman forward Christine Levering, sophomore defense Christina Roach and freshman forward Chalen Noble all scored the remaining goals of the first half, giving the Lions a comfortable 5-0 lead going into the second half.

In true Lion fashion, the final 45 minutes were also dominated by the College, with Levering and Roach each scoring once more.

The Lions’ defense put on another remarkable display for the win, as junior Christina Gacos and sophomore Jessica Weeder shared the shutout.

Prior to this game, the team’s seniors were honored in a small ceremony in which they were thanked for their dedication to the team. Among these players were Griffith, Lindacher, midfield Sloan DePiero and defense Lauren Giles.

In their last regular season game, though, the Lions fought with all of their might but could not defeat Rowan University. It was the hardest fought game of the season and every player left everything they had on the field, but their opponents held them off remarkably. The Lions fell 3-2 after two overtimes.

The Lions opened the game with the first goal, coming from junior forward Korrie Harkins, assisted by freshman defender Brianna Petro. But their opponents quickly netted their own goal, and the score was tied.

In the second half, the Lions again scored first, but this was quickly followed by a goal from Rowan.

As the two teams entered their first overtime, the ball went back and forth from both sides of the field, as both teams exhibited some of the finest play seen all season.

It was not until the second half that someone was able to get all the way down the field for that elusive winning goal, but unfortunately, it was Rowan who was able to capitalize on that.

The Lions still entered postseason play in the third seed, though, a great spot within the New Jersey Athletic Conference. The Lions played their first game of the postseason this past Saturday against Ramapo College and came back with a strong 4-0 victory.

Marion assisted Harkins with the first goal of the game, with 8:15 elapsed into the first half.

For the rest of that half, both teams’ defenses held off the offense until the Lions struck again in the second half. Lusardi and Applestein scored the rest of the Lions’ goals of the game, bringing the Lions to a 4-0 victory.

This week, the Lions advance in the Conference to take on Rowan University again this Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. to keep their season alive.