Crushing defeat after eight straight wins

Junior Mikalya Cimilluca fights for the ball at Gwynedd- Mercy. (Photo courtesy of The Sports Information Desk)
Junior Mikalya Cimilluca fights for the ball at Gwynedd- Mercy. (Photo courtesy of The Sports Information Desk)

The field hockey team completed its long, seven-game road trip on Saturday, Sept. 27, with a 4-1 win against Gwynedd-Mercy University and a crushing first loss to Salisbury University by a score of 3-1.

The first game, played Tuesday, Sept. 23, against Gwynedd-Mercy, extended the Lions’ win streak to eight games to begin the season. In its usual fashion, the team opened the game with two quick scores — the first came by senior Victoria Martin with the assist from fellow senior Lindsey Hatch. Hatch made it 2-0 about two minutes later with her 14th goal of the season, set up by sophomore Jacyln Douglas.

It was not until the second half that the Lions got on the board again with a great penalty corner shot by sophomore Lexi Smith, her sixth goal of the season, with Hatch racking up yet another assist. The Griffins quickly responded with a goal four minutes later to keep the game close at 3-1, but the Lions put them away with a fourth goal by sophomore Alicia Wagner.

To end the road trip, the third-ranked Lions faced off against second-ranked and also unbeaten Salisbury University. In a tough matchup, the Lions were only down 1-0 after the first half, with the lone goal coming from Becca Rinaca. In the second half, however, the Lions surrendered two more goals from the opposition and were not able to get on the board until the last seconds of the game, with Douglas punching it in for the ninth time this season, with an assist from Hatch.

While the score showed a large margin of victory, the Lions had many opportunities to score, beating the Sea Gulls 16-10 on shot attempts, with a 14-6 advantage in shots on goal. Sea Gulls keeper Rachel Clewer played extremely well with 12 saves.

“We had many opportunities in the Salisbury game … We will learn to capitalize on our chances and add variety to our shot selection,” Coach Sharon Pfluger said. “I believe our team will also learn that every opponent is extremely excited to play us, and we will see their best game.”

This game marked the end of the first half of the season for the Lions, putting them in a great position for the second half. They will play their first home game since early September on Tuesday, Sept. 30, hosting Richard Stockton College at 7:30 p.m. in Lions Stadium.