By Miguel Gonzalez
The field hockey team dropped another close matchup against a top-ranked opponent.
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Lions narrowly defeated Gwynedd Mercy University, 1-0 at Lions Stadium. Following the win, the Lions endured their second loss of the season, 2-1 against the No. 4 ranked Salisbury University Sea Gulls in overtime on Saturday, Sept. 23, at home.
After a tough loss to Messiah College, the Lions rebounded with a shutout victory against the Gwynedd Mercy Griffins. The Lions offense managed 16 shots on the Griffins, giving them a few opportunities for the Griffins to counterattack.
In less than two minutes, junior forward Taylor Barrett finessed a cross pass from a penalty corner to freshman forward Tori Tiefenthaler who gathered the ball and shot it at Griffins goalkeeper Sarah Crane. Crane was on her foiled the majority of the Lions scoring opportunities as she recorded six saves during the match.
In the last play of the first half, the Lions got on the scoreboard when junior midfielder/defender Sidney Padilla smacked a pass from sophomore forward/midfielder Kayla Peterson.
The Lions carried the 1-0 lead to victory in the second half. The Griffins were rarely in the Lions half of the field due to the Lions insistent offense getting multiple penalty corners.
Later on Saturday night, the Lions encountered tough competition against the Salisbury University Seg Gulls. Coming to Lions Stadium, the Sea Gulls had a 6-1 record and conceded their only loss against No.1 ranked Messiah College.
The teams struggled to score on one another during the first half. Senior goalkeeper Christina Fabiano was challenged quickly into the match. At the 5th minute, Fabiano caught a fast shot from Sea Gulls sophomore midfielder Arielle Johnston.
The Lions attempted to counter in back-to-back penalty corner plays in the 19th minute. Senior forward Elizabeth Morrison and Peterson could not get their shots through the net because of the Sea Gulls staunch defense.
The Sea Gulls offense strung into action during the second half. In a span five intense minutes from the 37th to the 44th, the Lions defense stopped five consecutive penalty corners thanks to Fabiano’s solid goalkeeping.
The Lions countered in the 50th minute when Tiefenthaler found an opening to shoot until it was deflected by Sea Gulls sophomore defender Lindsey Elgin. By the 67th minute, the Lions could not withstand the Sea Gulls pounding offense. Sea Gulls defender/midfielder Emma Vicchio notched a goal with a pass from Johnston.
With only three minutes remaining, the Lions were not down and out.
Following the goal, the Lions quickly received a penalty corner. Barrett proceeded to pass to sophomore forward Cayla Andrews. Andrews then sent the ball to the top of the arc where Padilla blasted her shot and sent the match to overtime.
The Lions luck did not last for long. Two minutes into overtime, Johnston sealed the Sea Gulls 2-1 victory with a rebound shot.
The field hockey team conclude their homestand on Tuesday, Sept. 26, when they play against Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham at Lions Stadium. The Lions then travel to Wayne, New Jersey, to compete in their first conference match of the season against William Paterson University on Saturday, Sept. 30.