Lions field hockey looks for another dominant year

The women’s field hockey team is looking for another dominant year in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. The team enters this season on a 20-game regular season conference winning streak.

The lady lions may be young this year, but they still count on key returning defensive players. Under legendary coaching of Sharon Pfluger, the College’s women’s field hockey team has won the NJAC 22 times in 28 seasons since its conception in 1985. Pfluger has led the team to a historic record of 198-16-1 in the NJAC. In her 31 years of coaching field hockey at the College, her overall record is 564-86-5.

Sophmore Siney Padilla on the offensive attack.

The team hopes to repeat as NJAC champions. The Lions top preseason NJAC polls, but they will need freshmen to step into important roles as they try to replace alumnae Jaclyn Douglas (’17) and Lexi Smith (’17), both former All-Americans.

The team still has plenty of weapons like senior Elizabeth Morrison and sophomore Cayla Andrews, both of whom scored 12 goals last year, contributing greatly to the offensive performance of the team.

On defense, seniors Jackie Schwartz and Christina Fabiano both look to build off last year’s progress. Schwartz started in 15 of the last 19 games last season. Fabiano started in 12 of the last 12 games posting a .718 save percentage, four shutouts and only allowed 0.77 goals per game.

The new-look Lions begin the season on Saturday, Sept. 2, against the Catholic University of American in Washington D.C. After three road games, the team opens up at home against Drew University on Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. — the first of five straight matches at Lions Stadium, where the team was undefeated last season.

Their toughest test should come from defending national champions Messiah College at home on Sept. 16, at 6:00 p.m. Messiah was one of three teams to beat the Lions during last year’s regular season, but the Lions now have a chance to strike back on their home turf.