All good runs eventually come to an end.
After winning the first 11 games of the season, the women’s lacrosse team ran into Salisbury University, the nation’s top-ranked Division III school. And while the Lions kept the game close and remained strong, it wasn’t enough to overtake the Sea Gulls, as they fell 9-6.
“I knew it was going to be a competitive game, regardless of where each of the teams are ranked, so I wasn’t surprised that it was close most of the game,” Lions head coach Sharon Pfluger said. “I think the girls worked really hard to prepare, so I don’t think that we did anything different, because we are always looking to be as organized and ready for the next game.”
The Lions started the game off strong when senior attacker Jen Garavente scored the opening goal, giving the women their lone lead of the game. After a tough battle and an exchanging of goals, the College headed into half time down 4-3.
“I just told them to tighten up on some of the things that they were doing, create some flow with the ball movement on attack and minimize (their length) of possession,” Pfluger said.
Unfortunately for the Lions, they did not get off to a great start at the beginning of the second half. In a 10-minute span, Salisbury took control of the momentum to score four consecutive goals, increasing their lead to five.
“I think they capitalized on some opportunities and we didn’t (capitalize) as much as we should have,” Pfluger said. “Then we got ourselves down by (five) and we were scratching our way back up.”
Despite trailing 8-3 with under 15 minutes remaining, Pfluger and the women never felt the game was out of reach.
“I felt like we were always in it — we just needed to maintain the momentum,” Pfluger said. “We fought hard, we got the ball back and converted a lot of opportunities for ourselves, (but) we just ran out of time.”
While the loss was not the women’s ideal result, Pfluger remains optimistic.
“Anytime you walk off the field losing it is an eye opener, but then we can say, ‘Let’s pick it apart, let’s figure it out, let’s solve it and let’s get better,’” she said. “I am confident that we will because we have a great group of girls and they work very hard.”
With the Salisbury game now behind them, it is time to look ahead for the remainder of the season.
“When I think about the things that could be corrected, they’re all fixable,” Pfluger said. “It doesn’t matter who we are playing because we need to fix those things. We just need to play really well in the remaining games and just keep getting better.”