By Aidan Mastandrea
Sharon Pfluger, the College’s field hockey coach, picked up her 650th all-time win last week. The win puts her on a list by herself, as she is the only Division III coach to ever reach that mark. Win 650 came on Sept 7, as the Lions were able to take down Juniata 7-1.
Pfluger, who graduated from the College in 1982, is a legend in the coaching space. Her storied career at the College has seen her lead both the field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams in their respective seasons. The culture that she set from day one has made it possible for the College to be in national contention virtually every year in both sports.
“This is about our players, past and present, who made this happen,” said Pfluger. “Our alumni and co-coaches are incredibly special to me. While they are always supporting me, I want them to feel that this is their honor, because it is.”
She added, “Our bonds are something I will always cherish.”
Pfluger has helped deliver nine field hockey national championships while with the College, along with her 11 national championships as the lacrosse coach as well. After nearly four decades in command at the College, Pfluger has had hundreds of players, and has done her best to leave a mark on them.
The Lions have had an up-and-down start to their 2023 campaign. After opening the season at 11 in the National Coaches Poll, the College has only won 3 of their first 5 games.
“Nearly all of September involves independent games which gives us an opportunity to compete against teams in other conferences and regions,” Pfluger explained.
The College last played on Sept 15 against highly-touted Messiah University, which ended in a 5-0 loss for the Lions. The College was unable to handle the Messiah offense as the Falcons had a dominant 27 shots on goal.
“As always, we are taking one day at a time while concentrating on individual and team development,” said Pfluger. “Our schedule is extremely competitive. Being successful on a daily basis is where we are.”
This Lions squad certainly has the talent to compete at the highest level, as seen in big wins against Juniata and Cabrini. As she has done for 39 seasons, Pfluger will be looking to have this team playing its best come playoff time, with hopes of once again competing for the coveted national championship.
“The NCAA National Championship is always in the back of our minds, yet way too far off from now, ” Pfluger said. “Learning and developing is key at this present time and time will tell where we land.”