By George Tatoris
The players on the College’s field hockey team aren’t strangers to the Messiah College Falcons. The Lions edged Messiah, 1-0, in an overtime game held mid-September last year. The teams crossed paths again in the NCAA National Championship two months later, where the Lions flushed the Falcons out of the Tournament with a 4-2 victory in the quarterfinals.
Almost a year since the overtime game, Messiah gave the Lions retribution on Saturday, Sept. 17, with a 4-2 battering that mirrored their NCAA quarterfinal matchup.
Falcon Carissa Gehman gave her team an early lead over the Lions as she wove between defenders for the first goal of the game. Four minutes later, another shot from Gehman whizzed past senior goalkeeper Kelly Schlupp, and Messiah took a 2-0 lead.
Senior midfielder/defender Jaclyn Douglas answered with the Lions only shot in the first half, but the Falcons goalkeeper made it a save. The remainder of the half went scoreless as Schlupp accrued five saves.
As the second half commenced, the Falcons put another goal on the board. The Lions responded with a fruitless rally from Douglas, senior forward/midfielder Danielle Andreula and junior forward/midfielder Amanda Pallitto.
As the Lions struggled to get on the board, the Falcons scored again, this time with only 10 minutes of play left in the game.
The Lions called a timeout and returned to the field, determined. Less than two minutes later, sophomore forward/midfielder Caroline Quinn passed the ball on a penalty kick to senior defender Lexi Smith, who sent the ball into the cage off the right post, putting the Lions on the board.
However, the Lions did not have the time to make a comeback. Their next goal was scored with less than two minutes left and in similar fashion to their first, with Quinn passing the ball to Smith for the tally.
The loss came after a promising victory against the Drew University Rangers on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
That night was bookended by personal milestones for Quinn and freshman forward/midfielder Kayla Peterson, both of whom scored their first Lions goal that evening. Peterson opened the scoring and Quinn topped it off with the fifth Lions goal of the night.
The Rangers goalkeeper made eight saves in the first 16 minutes before Peterson managed to slip past off a redirect from Andreula.
The Lions launched a volley of 23 shots at the Rangers goal, but by the end of the first period, only three had gotten the better of Callaghan’s reflexes.
Sophomore midfielder/defender Sidney Padilla was the second Lion to score after firing the ball into the net off a rebound from her own shot. Less than two minutes later, Callaghan got another save off a shot from senior defender Lexi Smith, but luckily, junior forward Elizabeth Morrison was there to turn the rebound into the Lions third goal.
The College persisted with their volley into the second half, but Callaghan was just as obstinate. She made four more saves before Peterson, off an assist from Padilla, made her second career goal.
Quinn closed the scoring at 56 minutes after turning a rebound from one of Smith’s shots into the fifth and final Lions goal. The last 15 minutes of play were scoreless.
In the entire matchup, the Lions outshot the Rangers 40-1, with 31 of those shots at goal. However, Callaghan racked up 26 saves throughout the entire matchup, almost half of the 60 total saves made against the Lions this season.
Despite a difficult opponent, the Lions came out on top thanks to their unrelenting offense.