It was a scene of pure jubilation and triumph that took place on the Lions’ home field on Sunday, Nov. 17. After defeating Rochester Institute of Technology, the Lions knew they would be advancing to the third round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Championships.
The team climbed to this moment of triumph by going 2-0 in NCAA play with wins against Penn State Berks and Rochester Institute of Technology. The team seemed more than ready to face the challenge at hand.
“This game is crucial for us,” senior midfield Sloan DePiero said before the Lions played Penn State. “With it being the first game of the tournament, it is key that we come out as we have been playing all season. The intensity at practice this last week was great and we are confident coming into the tournament.”
All of the hard work paid off big time on Saturday, Nov. 16, as the Lions topped Penn State Berks 2-0.
The first half of the game was primarily defensive, as both teams traveled up and down the field but were unable to break through.
The best chance came 15 minutes into the first half, when junior defender Lori Genovesi sent a shot down the field but missed the net by mere inches. Neither team was willing to give up that elusive first goal.
By the time the second half came around, the Lions’ offense came out with more spark and began getting the results they were used to. Just 2:21 into the second half, junior forward Korrie Harkins stepped up and assisted freshman midfielder Sarah Marion in the first goal of the game.
But the Lions wanted more. The Lions closed out the game mercilessly, keeping possession in the opposing half and adding an insurance goal in the 88th minute.
Freshman forward Christine Levering scored her 11th goal of the year with 2:35 left, with the assist going to senior forward Katie Lindacher.
Senior Kendra Griffith was a sturdy presence in goal for the College and claimed her 50th win in net for the Lions.
The next challenge for the College came the next day, as Rochester Institute of Technology challenged the Lions. The College, though, shut out its opponents a second straight time for a 1-0 win.
The first half of the game was similar to the previous, in which both teams were slowly gaining momentum, figuring out their plan of attack. The closest someone came to scoring was at the end of the first half when Levering laced a shot down the field, which was spectacularly saved by the Tigers’ goalkeeper.
In the second half, it was sophomore midfield Taylor Lusardi who stepped up and scored the only goal for the Lions in the 75th minute.
Lusardi converted a corner kick from junior defender Jordan Downs, getting on the end of the ball at the far post and hitting a hard header that bounced from the ground to the roof of the net.
The Lions’ defense was able to hold off their opponents in order to give the Lions another victory in NCAA play.
The Lions knew they left nothing on the table at the end of this weekend, having played some of the most nail-biting games this season.
“Being a senior, every game could literally be the last, so we have to play that way,” Lindacher said.
The team will get to compete together again this week in another NCAA game against William Smith College.