By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Ewing, N.J. – The College of New Jersey Lions women’s lacrosse team has continued its winning streak to start the 2011 season.
The No. 3 ranked TCNJ Lions have been able to feast on non-conference teams for much of this young season. Only one of their wins have come against a conference team, which is when they beat up on Kean and won by 19.
The Lions were able to feast on another non-conference team, in the FDU-Florham Devils, and beat them, 17-1, yesterday afternoon at Lions Stadium.
The Lions will likely hold onto the No. 3 ranking when the IWLCA releases its new weekly poll on March 21st. The Lions are 5-0 on the season, with a 1-0 mark in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
FDU-Florham has dropped to 3-2 on the season, with a 2-0 mark in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC).
A current FDU-Florham assistant coach was returning to the same campus, where she played college lacrosse. Diane Haddeland played for the Lions in her four-year career, while helping the Lions to its 2005 and 2006 National Championships.
“Diane was here for four years,” said TCNJ head coach Sharon Pfluger. “She has been with the FDU program for the past three-years now. I think she’s doing a great job there. I also recruited their head coach Adrienne Booth (Carr), before she eventually decided to go to Rutgers. Adrienne and Diane are both good girls. They have a tremendous knowledge of lacrosse and are taking FDU in the right direction.”
Also, besides Haddeland, there is another connection between the FDU-Florham and TCNJ program. Nina Frankoski, a fellow FDU-Florham assistant coach, has a sister, Rebecca, who is a freshman on the TCNJ team.
Haddeland was able to see how dominate her alma mater can be. She also was able to see a historic afternoon by Leigh Mitchell. Mitchell was able to become the all-time career assist leader in the women’s lacrosse program.
Mitchell broke the record with 87 career assists. She had 5 assists on the afternoon to break the record. The previous record was held by Liz O’Connor, who had 85 assists.
“It’s really good,” said Mitchell. “It shows how good our overall attack is. I have a lot of good players to pass the ball to in helping them score. Our unit is why I’ve been able to get the statistics that I’ve been able to get.”
The red-shirt junior said she never thinks about any potential records that she might pick up in her career.
“I never really thought about this,” said Mitchell. “It’s definitely a nice honor, but it is more important that we win the games that we’re playing in.”
She also said that she has no set number that she would like to reach in assists, before she leaves the Lions campus in 2012. Mitchell will likely surpass the 100 assist mark before the end of this season. She could potentially reach 150 before she plays her last game.
“I really have no idea,” said Mitchell. “I just want to win games.”
Mitchell and Ali Jaeger were able to connect many times over the past few years. Mitchell was even able to assist on Jaeger’s third goal of the game. Jaeger led the Lions with 5 goals.
“Ali is definitely one of the best attackers that I’ve ever played with,” said Mitchell. “She makes everything look so easy.”
After Jaeger, Kathleen Notos chipped in with 4 goals. Alex Spark added 3 goals.
“She is very capable of doing that in every game,” said coach Pfluger of Notos. “She is a strong player for us. She works so hard for us.”
Mitchell and Lauren Pigott added two goals apiece. Jillian Nealon added a goal.
FDU-Florham’s lone goal was scored by Erika Depelteau. The FDU-Florham goal snapped a TCNJ streak of 90 minutes and 41 seconds without allowing a goal.
“I think it was a good goal by them,” said coach Pfluger. “It was definitely a long time without giving up a goal. We were able to have good ball control during the streak.”
Mary Waller played nearly the entire game in the net for the Lions. She played 57 minutes and 46 seconds, before being replaced by her back up. Jess Persicketti played 2 minutes and 14 seconds to complete the game. Waller recorded the win, while allowing the 1 goal and made 3 saves. Persicketti did not have to make a save during the time she was in the net.
Ashley Smith started the game and played the first half for the Devils. She got the loss after giving up 12 first-half goals. She made just 4 saves. In the second half, Smith was replaced with Jessica Burkhard, who played the entire second half. She only allowed 5 goals and made 5 saves.
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