The 10th-ranked Lions dominated Cedar Crest College in their season opener on Friday, Aug. 28, winning in a 10-0 landslide at home.
The team raced out to an early lead and never looked back. Freshman Elizabeth Thoreson opened the scoring for the Lions just 39 seconds into the game. Thoreson was one of three freshmen to tally a goal on the day.
Fellow freshmen Hannah Richman and Kathryn Bednarsky came off the bench to add goals of their own in their first collegiate games. In all, Lions’ substitutes scored eight of the team’s 10 goals.
Senior Gina Caprara led the way offensively for the College, scoring three goals in a span of six minutes to seal the win for the Lions. She scored her three goals on her only three shots of the game.
“It really was (a great experience) since I haven’t scored a hat trick since my youth soccer years,” Caprara said. “I was surprised I was able to get three, but I am glad I finished all my chances.”
Junior Christina Roach also had a big game, scoring two goals of her own.
Last year’s leading scorer and reigning NJAC Rookie of the Year, Christine Levering, scored her first goal of the season just six minutes into the contest.
Junior Justine Larocca closed out the scoring for the College, burying one in the back of the net early in the second half.
Overall, seven different Lions scored on the day.
“I think we have great players starting … and everyone who comes off the bench also makes an impact on the field,” Capara said about the team’s offensive balance. “I think that that will help us this season because we have a lot of good players off the bench still scoring. That shows we all offensively know how to finish the ball.”
While the offense turned in an incredible game, the defense played a nearly perfect game. Thanks to stellar defense and ball control, Cedar Crest was unable to get a single shot off.
Senior goalkeepers Kendra Griffith and Tara Fisher each played a half while picking up a combined shutout, despite not facing a single shot. Last season, the team had a remarkable 13 shutouts.
This week, the Lions will host Virginia Wesleyan College on Wednesday, Sept. 3, just before heading to New York for a pair of weekend games with Oneonta State on Saturday, Sept. 6, and Hartwick College on Sunday, Sept. 7.