By Miguel Gonzalez
The Lions followed up their first victory and crushed Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham 11-4 at Lions Stadium on Saturday, March 5.
In a chilly afternoon, families and students watched the Lions unleash a total of 34 shots on the Devils and scored 11 goals. Both sophomore midfielder Kathleen Jaeger and freshman attacker Kasey Donoghue led the belligerent offense, scoring three goals apiece.
The Devils could not withstand junior defender Elizabeth Morrison’s pressure as she caused two back-to-back turnovers in the first five minutes.
In the seventh minute, Donoghue netted in the Lions first goal off a long pass from junior midfielder Amanda Muller. The team then struggled to gain possession as two Lions committed fouls.
The Devils later countered in the 12th minute when senior midfielder Frances Maggio shot the ball straight through Lions sophomore goalkeeper Miranda Chrone.
Jaeger then netted in a goal off a free position attempt, pushing the Lions ahead, 2-1. The Devils were never able to respond until late in the second half.
The Lions continued their offensive momentum by having junior attacker Emily Kratz, freshman midfielder Alexandria Fitzpatrick, Jaeger and Donoghue constantly circle around the Devils goal and pass around until there was space to shoot. The tactic was used to pressure the Devil defenders to foul and give free position attempts to the Lions.
The next two Lions goals followed them tactic. Jaeger scored her second goal off another free position attempt while senior attack Mia Blackman hurled in a goal.
With the Lions sitting on comfortable 4-1 lead, the Devils clamped their defense. Devils sophomore goalkeeper Megan Nemeth shutout the Lions for the remainder of the first half. However, the Lions snuck in a last minute goal when Donoghue heaped and ripped a shot from the left.
The Lions offense remained hot in the second half until the Devils scored two consecutive goals at the end of the game.
In the 32th minute, freshman midfielder Allie Gorman shot from the 10-yard line and netted in her first career goal. The Devils nearly scored a minute later when Chrone caught a fast shot by Devils senior attacker Joelle Manganella.
Meanwhile, Nemeth kept deflecting the Lions offense. She grabbed four consecutive saves until Donoghue broke through and scored her their goal of the game. Blackman scooped up the ball in the middle of the field and threw a long pass to Donoghue. Donoghue then skipped through Nemeth on a over-the-head shot.
Morrison then joined in on the offensive bombardment when she cradled past the Devils defense and slipped in a ground shot.
“It all happened so fast,” Morrison said. “I got the ball off the draw and sprinted as fast as I could down the field. I tried to go straight down the middle but their defense forced me a little wide. I still had a good angle so I took my shot from there and scored.”
Jaeger then completed her third goal of the game. She intercepted a pass from the Devils and slammed a shot down the Devils net as the ball bounced into it for a goal.
With five minutes remaining, the Devils scored a second goal when senior midfielder Brienna Reasoner threw a fast shot from a free position attempt. The Lions quickly responded in the following possession. Kratz scored the Lions 10th goal off an assist from Fitzpatrick.
Although the Lions were ahead by nine points in the last two minutes, the Devils continued to pressure them and scored two goals.
On Wednesday, March 7, at 7 p.m., the Lions will compete against Cabrini University at Lions Stadium. The team then plays their first conference match against Ramapo College on Saturday, March 11, at 1 p.m.