By Maximillian C. Burgos | Contributing Writer
EWING, NJ — The College of New Jersey Lions Women’s lacrosse team preserved its dominant status against the University of Mount Union Raiders for game one of the NCAA Regional Tournament, played on Saturday May 20th. The Lions got off to a quick start, scoring two goals in less than a minute. From there, they never looked back.
“The team feels good coming into tomorrow. We played well as a unit and to keep going we have to continue that,” said Lions’ head coach Sharon Pfluger. “We had good rock (ball) control and played well. At this point there are only about only ten teams that can win it all and its any one’s game.”
The Lions got off to an early lead with two goals scored by veteran talent, sophomore midfielder Kathleen Jaeger and junior midfielder Amanda Muller. From there, the majority of the game was played on offense for the Lions.
The Lions played long periods of time, where the Raiders struggled to gain possession; but the superior passing and ball control was just too much for Raiders.
The Raiders only managed three shots on goal by the end of the game. The Lions had ten times that and far less turnovers. Every time the Raiders tried to get something started, they landed themselves right in the teeth of the Lions defense, ready to thwart any kind of scoring attempt.
Sophomore Lions’ goalie Miranda Chrone played all sixty minutes and only had to make two saves in order to preserve the shutout for the Lions. Other than that, Chrone watched as most of the game that took place mostly around freshman UMU goalie Mimi Curtis.
Curtis felt Jaeger’s presence around the net the most. Jaeger, TCNJ’s regular-season goals leader found the net four times, had an assist and forced three turnovers in critical moments.
Muller, freshman midfielder Allie Gorman, and freshman attack Olivia Cleale, also made their presence felt on the field. Muller had three goals and one assist. Cleale had two goals and two assists. Gorman had two goals.
By halftime, the Lions had already ran the score all the way up to 11-0. The Lions played keep away the rest of the game, maintaining favorable positioning and holding on to the shutout.
Another notable in the game for the Lions was junior defense Elizabeth Morrison, who led the Lions stifling defensive effort. She now has 157 career caused turnovers and 211 ground balls. She ranks second in TCNJ history in ground balls and 13th nationally in caused turnovers.
The Lions next game is the regional final against Middlebury College, the only team to hand the Lions a regular season loss in a closely contested game. The game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on May 21, at Lions Stadium.