Pfluger claims 500th lacrosse victory

Miguel Gonzalez
Sports Editor

Flagler’s stellar defense contributes to the College’s shutout of Brockport. (Miguel Gonzalez / Sports Editor)

While prospective students, families and ambassadors roamed around campus on Saturday, March 24, it was just a routine day for the College’s lacrosse team — bombarding opponents with goal after goal, check. Picking up clean sheets, check. Staying on top of national rankings, check. Fulfilling another milestone for Head Coach Sharon Pfluger, check.

On Saturday, the Lions bulldozed through The College at Brockport, SUNY, 16-0, as Pfluger became the first NCAA women’s lacrosse coach to win 500 matches after the team’s earlier win against Ursinus College, 15-6, on March 20 at Lions Stadium

The Lions were in full force against Brockport during the 16-0 win. Within 40 seconds, sophomore attacker Olivia Cleale netted in the team’s first goal. Brockport attempted to counter on the next play, but senior defender Elizabeth Morrison thwarted it and forced a turnover.

In the sixth minute, senior midfielder Amanda Muller scooped the ball and scored the team’s second goal. The Lions then doubled their lead to 4-0 with back-to-back goals from sophomore attacker Kasey Donoghue and freshman midfielder Erin Jaffe.

Afterward, Brockport prioritized on defense as the Lions missed several opportunities and Brockport senior goalkeeper Sarah Brown recorded three saves. In the 14th minute, Donoghue weaved through Brockport’s defense and fired a shot for the Lions’ fifth goal. Jaffe followed up by netting her second goal with an assist by junior midfielder Kathleen Jaeger.

The team never stopped scoring as Donoghue, Jaeger, Jaffe and Cleale broke past Brockport’s net. By halftime, the team held a commanding 10-0 lead.

The Lions continued their barrage of goals in the second half. Less than two minutes into the half, Donoghue struck again and recorded her fourth goal with an assist by Cleale. Sophomore midfielder Allie Gorman further extended the Lions’ lead to 12-0 when she intercepted a long pass from Brown and shoveled a shot through the net.

In the 39th minute, Gorman netted her second goal off a pass from Cleale. Donoghue then rocked Brockport’s defense and scored a pair of goals to help the Lions compile a 15-0 lead. Following another goal by Jaffe, the Lions spent the rest of the match draining the clock with safe passes.

The wintry weather didn’t bother the Lions in their 15-6 win against Ursinus College. The Lions got on the scoreboard first when Muller received a free position attempt and hurled in a goal. Ursinus then launched a counterattack led by junior midfielder Emily DiGiorgio.

The Lions were able to withstand Ursinus with a tremendous effort by junior goalkeeper Miranda Chrone, who recorded two crucial saves. In the 11th minute, junior midfielder Erin Harvey scored the team’s second goal off a free position attempt.

Ursinus’ consistent counters broke through in the 13th minute when senior defender/midfielder Franny Liberatoscioli secured a goal from a free position attempt.

The Lions immediately responded by firing four goals into Ursinus’ net. During the offensive burst, Gorman, Jaeger and sophomore midfielder Alexandria Fitzpatrick all scored.

With less than six minutes to go in the first half, Ursinus cut the Lions lead to 6-3 off two consecutive goals by DiGiorgio. However, the Lions kept building their lead when Fitzpatrick snuck in a goal before the first half concluded.

The Lions took command in the second half. After Ursinus’ senior attacker Taylor DeBernardi flickered in a goal, the team scored six unanswered goals and accumulated a favorable 13-4 lead. The team never looked back, claiming a 15-6 win against Ursinus.

After a successful week at Lions Stadium, the lacrosse team faces a familiar foe at home on Thursday, March 29. The team will have a chance to avenge last year’s national championship loss against Gettysburg College.

Gettysburg is currently ranked No.1 in the nation with an undefeated 6-0 record, according to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III Coaches Poll. The Lions are ranked sixth nationally.

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