By George Tatoris
The field hockey team experienced mixed emotions last week. After a close 4-3 defeat to the Cabrini College Cavaliers on Wednesday, Sept. 8, the Lions went on to trounce the Juniata College Eagles on Saturday, Sept. 10, which brought their record to 2-1.
The loss to unranked Cabrini was the first for the No. 3 Lions this season. Cabrini got on the board early two goals in the first ten minutes, but the Lions retaliated by bombarding the Cavaliers’ net with three unanswered goals of their own to end the half ahead, 3-2.
Senior forward and midfielder Jaclyn Douglas had an impressive outing, as she scored all three of the Lions goals that evening.
Douglas first scored off a feed from junior forward Elizabeth Morrison. Later, she scored another goal off a rebounded shot from senior defender Lexi Smith, tying the game, 2-2.
With just over two minutes left, the Lions took advantage of a penalty circle to end the half ahead. Smith along with sophomore forward/midfielder Caroline Quinn fed the ball to Douglas, who scored her third goal of the night.
Despite the lead coming into the second half, the energy from Douglas’s rallying performance fizzled. After a few wide shots from Quinn and junior forward/midfielder Amanda Pallitto at the beginning of the second half, the Cavaliers took control and snaked through the Lions’ defense for a goal, tying up the game.
Douglas had a chance to put the Lions ahead, but the ball was stopped by Cabrini’s goalkeeper. Soon after, a Cavalier collected a loose ball and sent it sailing into the Lions net, putting Cabrini ahead, 4-3, and leaving the Lions less than 13 minutes to tie it up.
Despite being awarded four penalty corners in those 13 minutes, the Lions couldn’t score. The struggle lasted until the very last second, when Douglas took a shot at the goal, only to have a Cavalier get in between her and the net.
Douglas continued to dominate in the contest against Juniata, scoring the first two goals for the Lions.
The Lions went at the Eagles with a blitzkrieg, but the Eagles defense put up a wall as Juniata goalkeeper Kylie Edwards accrued six saves in the first 20 minutes of play — three of them within 30 seconds of each other.
Finally, at 22 minutes the Eagles relented as Douglas sent the ball into the net off an assist from Smith. The Eagles defense stopped anymore goals in the half, but their offense failed to close the deficit, ending the half, 1-0.
The Lions regrouped after the break, ready to play. This time, they only had to wait six minutes before Quinn sent the ball into the on during a penalty corner and Smith fed it to Douglas for her second goal of the game.
The College’s defense had little to do as the offense dominated on the other side of the field. If an Eagle managed to get close, they were swatted away by senior defenders Shannon Cowles or Alexa Magnotta. Senior goalkeeper Kelly Schlupp only registered one save in the entire contest.
Less than two minutes after being substituted in, freshman defender Cayla Andrews sent the ball sailing off a pass from Smith, earning her her first collegiate goal. Senior forward/midfielder Danielle Andreula scored the fourth and final Lions goal.
The Lions redeemed themselves from their loss earlier in the week with a 4-0 victory. At the end of the match, the Lions outshot the Eagles, 22-1.
The Lions have a history of turning regular season losses into winning streaks. Last season, they lost to Ursinus College in October, only to come back and win eight straight matchups, ending at the national semi-finals. The year before that they won 15 straight games to win the national title after a 3-1 loss to Salisbury University.