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Lions dominate Kean in NJAC preview

By Anthony Caruso
Staff Writer

Natalicchio records four goals and four assists in the team’s blowout win. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Natalicchio records four goals and four assists in the team’s blowout win. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The College’s women’s lacrosse team finished its regular season this week with two home games before winning their season finale at Kean University on Saturday, April 25.

The girls ended the season with a 14-3 record, including wins in their final four games of the season.

On Tuesday, April 21, the College hosted the Richard Stockton Ospreys. In conference action, the game ended with a 13-1 win for the College.

The Lions struck first as senior Kendal Borup scored. However, junior Skyler Mahoney-Kendra tied the game for the Ospreys at 1-1.

Freshman Amanda Muller increased the College’s lead to make it 3-1, and sophomore Mia Blackman added another goal before halftime to make it 4-1.

In the second half, senior Ava Fitzgerald scored four goals. Muller added two more, and Borup and Blackman each added their second goals. Junior Cortney Natalicchio scored her 34th goal to begin the second half.

Sophomore Kelly Schlupp made two saves and allowed a goal for the win in 60 minutes. Ospreys junior Goalie Mary Stornes made 12 saves and allowed 13 goals in the loss.

On Thursday night, April 23, the women’s lacrosse team hosted Senior Day in front of 52 fans. For those in attendance, they saw the Lions roll to a 15-1 win.

Before the game started, the team recognized the six seniors. Those included Fitzgerald, Borup, Lauren Karpovich, Erin Healy, Sam Iacouzzi and Soraya Selamie.

“I thought it was a perfect way to go out,” Fitzgerald said. “The way that they did the Senior Night was special. We were super excited to play our last in-season final home game.”

The Lions jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first half, including four goals by Fitzgerald. Borup and Natalicchio had the other goals.

“I thought we really came together as a team,” Fitzgerald said. “With our team, anyone can step up. There’s not one player that a team can stop.”

After halftime, Borup came out with four straight goals of her own, increasing the lead to 10-0. Muller and Natalicchio scored back-to-back goals as the game went to 12-0.

With 11:10 left, Blackman made it 13-0 with her first goal of the game and 19th overall. Then, Fitzgerald scored back-to-back as the game went to 15-0.

“I thought we played very well,” coach Sharon Pfluger said. “We had the lead early, so we just had to maintain it. I thought we didn’t make any mistakes, and the team effort was good. I’m proud of the girls.”

Schlupp played the first 49:15 of the game. She did not register a save or allow a goal for the win. Christina Fabiano came in to play the final 10:45 and made one save.

On Saturday, April 25, the college ended its regular season against the Kean Cougars. At the Kean Alumni Stadium, the Lions rolled to a 17-3 win in front of 79 people in attendance.

Muller scored the first goal before the Cougars took a 2-1 lead. Following the short-lived lead, the College scored the next eight. Borup had three, while Natalicchio added two more. Muller, Fitzgerald and Healy also scored.

“We played our game, and we did our best,” Pfluger said. “We knew we were going to face them again (on Wednesday, April 29, in an NJAC tournament game), as it appeared we were going to play back-to-back games. We played smart on Saturday.”

Borup and Natalicchio made it 11-3 in the first half. After halftime, it was all Lions, as they scored the final six goals of the game.

Borup scored two of the six and Muller, Blackman, Natalicchio and Karpovich scored the remaining goals.

Schlupp allowed three goals with no saves in 60 minutes for the win.

“(Schlupp) has played great for us this season,” Fitzgerald said. “When she’s been called upon, she has made key saves when we needed her, too. We wouldn’t have the record we would if it wasn’t for her, especially in the close games.”


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