At some point this season, the Lions expect that they’ll be faced with a challenge. So far, they haven’t gotten one.
It was another week of domination for the No. 5 lacrosse team, as they took out Ursinus College and Eastern University by the scores of 18-7 and 18-0, respectively, to give them an eight-game winning streak to start the season.
“I am so proud of my teammates and the way we have maintained our winning streak,” senior attacker Jen Garavente said. “I think the biggest reason why we have been able to play like this is because we have brought everything we have learned in practice each day and applied it to our games.”
In their game with Ursinus on Tuesday, March 25, the Lions (8-0) encountered an early test from their foes. While they did jump out to an early 4-1 lead — thanks to goals from sophomore attacker Cortney Natalicchio, Garavente and a pair from senior midfielder Lauren Pigott — the Bears answered.
Scoring three goals in the same time the College scored one, Ursinus made the score 5-4 with halftime looming. However, the Lions were determined to put distance between them, as they powered in five unanswered goals to make it 10-4 at the break.
Another three scores in the opening minutes of the second half had the College smelling blood. Junior attackers Kendal Borup and Erin Waller both netted a goal, as did Garavente, making it 13-4.
While many may have thought the game was over, Ursinus had one last rally, making the margin smaller at 15-7. However, a trio of goals by the College put them away, reflecting the final score.
“Ursinus fought relentlessly until the last whistle, but I think what kept us at a distance was our composure,” Borup said. “As a team, we are very levelheaded and perform well under pressure, so whenever it seemed like Ursinus was gaining momentum, we were able to stay confident and poised while we worked to get possession back.”
Borup and Garavente were both brilliant. The two had five goals — with Garavente dishing out two assists as well. Pigott also had a big impact on the game as well, scoring four times and picking up an assist.
“We are a team that really strives for the plays where we can make those passing connections, so the assists are something we definitely celebrate and value and it’s important to give credit to both players that made the goal possible,” Garavente said.
In the game against Eastern, not only were the Eagles denied a goal, but they also couldn’t even attempt a shot.
A 12-goal flurry in the first period showed that the Lions weren’t messing around. Junior attacker Ava Fitzgerald scored three straight goals that were sandwiched by two pairs of goals by Waller and Garavente.
“Our defense works incredibly hard all year round, and it always shows during game time,” Borup said. “Every girl on the defensive end works to make the other girls better, and they function as one unit rather than seven individual players. This year, both of our goalies are freshmen, and they’ve done a great job backing up our defense.”
With the game out of reach in the second period, the College threw on another half-dozen goals, highlighted by two from Borup. Garavente ended the day with four goals, Waller had three goals and three assists and Borup had three dimes to go with her two goals.
“I think a win like that says we are a team that always remains composed no matter what the situation is and that we always perform at our level of play,” Garavente said. “I think we were the more talented team against Eastern, but it was important that we played like that regardless of the score. If we can walk off the field with a win in addition to being satisfied with both the defense and attack and our lack of mistakes, it always makes for a better day.”
Freshmen goalies Kelly Schlupp and Catherine Killian each played a half of scoreless lacrosse, recording the team’s first shutout of the season.
On the horizon, the Lions travel to Ramapo College on Tuesday, April 1, looking to keep their winning streak alive. For the team, experience is going to be key into making that happen.
“A good majority of the girls on the field are juniors and seniors, so we all remember losing in the elite eight to Trinity College last spring,” Borup said. “That loss taught us a lot and is now one of the driving factors in our competitive spirit. Now we all play with the same goal in mind and work as a team to make it happen. We’ve been winning because all of the girls support each other and play for each other.”