By Miguel Gonzalez
The Lions defeated Salisbury, 3-2, Saturday Sept. 26, at Lions’ Stadium in a double overtime clash between two undefeated teams.
The Lions put themselves up on the scoreboard in the sixth minute of their matchup with Salisbury when junior defender Lexi Smith scored off an assist from freshman forward Taylor Barrett.
For the week of Sunday, Sept. 20, the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) named Smith as the defensive player of the week for her outstanding performances during the Lions’ previous victories against Cabrini College, 6-1, and Messiah College, 1-0.
Meanwhile, Barrett was honored as the College’s student-athlete of the week, for netting in the game-winning goal during the overtime victory against Messiah College.
While the two standouts put the College up early, the Seagulls struck back at the 20th minute as junior forward Becca Rinaca utilized a penalty corner to even the match, 1-1, with an assist from junior defender Annah Brittingham. A minute later, Barrett drove a shot, but it was saved by Salisbury goalie Tressie Windsor. Toward the end of the first period, the Seagulls attempted to break even with shots from Natalie Wilkinson and Courtney Jantzen.
The second period featured a back-and-forth possession from the College and Salisbury as both teams pushed themselves to overtime. The Lions began shooting immediately with shots from junior forward Jaclyn Douglas and freshman forward Elizabeth Morrison. Afterward, junior goalie Kelly Schlupp saved a shot from Seagull Brittingham.
Just minutes later it was Douglas who scored a tiebreaking goal with an assist from Smith. However, the Seagulls counterattacked in the 56th minute, as Brittingham scored with an assist from Hannah Miller. Subsequently, the Seagulls continued to fire shots, but the College’s defense preserved the tie, with another save from Schlupp.
In overtime, both the Seagulls and Lions were held scoreless, while both teams continued to substitute players. In the 77th minute, Douglas set a penalty corner and senior captain Mikayla Cimilluca took a shot with no result, when Seagull goalie Tressie Windsor saved it.
“We played almost 100 minutes of field hockey and in the end it came to who wanted it more,” Cimilluca said.
During the 86th-88th minutes, the Lions stormed through the Seagulls’ defensive end with shots from Cimilluca, Smith and Barrett. Nonetheless, no shot crossed the goal line as Seagull goalie Windsor made three saves.
“Schlupp had a great game,” Cimilluca said. “She made some incredible saves and really kept us in the game.” With time quickly expiring, the Lions needed to prevent a possible shoot-out. At the 98th minute, it was senior forward Alicia Wagner who scored the game-winning goal, deflecting in a shot from Smith off a penalty corner.
The Lions have stayed undefeated this season with a 6-0 start and extended their winning streak to an incredible 21 games. The Lions head down the road to play against out-of-conference opponent Manhattanville College on Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Purchase, N.Y.