Field hockey eyes national championship

Padilla prepares to attack on offense. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

By John Berardi
Correspondent

The field hockey team is looking forward to another successful season in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Last season, the team ended with a record of 17-4, won the NJAC tournament and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament. As four-time defending conference champions, the team enters this season as the NJAC favorites in the coaches poll, gathering five of seven first place votes.

As they compete for the program’s 12th national championship, the Lions will have key starters all-American senior midfielder/defender Sidney Padilla, senior defender Jackie Schwartz, senior forward/midfielder Caroline Quinn and junior midfielder Jillian Farley. Another key returner for the team’s offense is leading scorer sophomore forward Tori Tiefenthaler, who scored 18 goals last season.

Alumna Elizabeth Morrison (’18) was named as the NJAC Nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year.

“I am very happy and excited for (Morrison),” said head coach Sharon Pfluger.

“She is one of the most remarkable student-athletes I have ever coached and is in a class by herself. I have seen (Morrison) develop and thrive in many ways while with us. She aided in the success of both our field hockey and lacrosse teams and is also a remarkable student who excelled in the classroom while earning a biology degree in an austere curriculum. This is such an amazing honor and one that is truly well-deserved.” 

Not only is Pfluger proud of her previous team member’s accomplishments, but she is also excited to maximize her team’s success this fall.

“We are very excited about our returning players this season,” Pfluger said.

“They gained a tremendous amount of experience and confidence during the 2017 season. All of them played a huge role in our team advancing to the 2017 NCAA Final Four.”

Their season kicks off with a home game on Saturday, Sept. 1 against The Catholic University Of America. The Lions are looking to for redemption against Catholic University from last year’s NCAA tournament loss.