By Michael Battista
The Lions took part in the TCNJ Adidas Classic during the weekend, winning their game against SUNY Oneonta on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2-0 and tying Johns Hopkins University 0-0 on Sunday, Sept. 13, in double overtime.
The College entered the Classic looking to improve their record of 1-0-1, while SUNY Oneonta hoped to expand their winning streak to three games.
The Lions came out strong right out of the gate, getting two shots on goal within six minutes. Sophomore midfielder Jessica Goldman was able to net her first goal of the season close to 20 minutes in, thanks to an assist from sophomore Elizabeth Thoresen, putting the College up, 1-0.
The defensive effort by the team was the major reason why the Red Dragons had issues on offense, and were only able to get their first shot on goal 39 minutes into the game.
However, the Lions did have a scare 20 minutes into the game when junior forward Christine Levering went down on the field holding her leg, and needed to be helped off.
Senior midfielder Christina Roach believes it isn’t anything too serious.
“I think it’s just soreness,” she said. “But just to be safe, we had to take her off and have it looked at.”
Coach Joe Russo echoed the statement, but also emphasized time is needed to have her looked at.
“She’s going to be evaluated by our doctors,” he said. “But it’s far too early to tell.”
The second half was just as dominant for the team, leaving SUNY’s defense with the large task of keeping out the College’s offense.
Roach was able to get through them all in the 57th minute for her first goal of the season, with help from Goldman to put the team up, 2-0.
The score remained, giving the College a hard fought victory. However, the team didn’t have much time to celebrate as the next game followed on, Sunday, Sept. 12, against Johns Hopkins University.
Roach said the team has to keep focused to remain successful.
“Just grind it out, focus and play 90 minutes,” Roach said. “If you get tired, just fake it as long as you can and keep going.”
However, the team would need to play more then just 90 minutes.
It should be noted that Levering did not play in the match, and it is still unknown to what extent she is injured. She was seen using crutches on the sideline cheering her teammates on. Russo said she will be seeing the team doctor as soon as possible.
The teams came into the contest ranked nationally in Division III — the College being ranked ninth and Johns Hopkins ranked fifth — and their play showed why that is.
Both teams came out strong, with defensive dominance keeping both offenses in check for the entire duration of the game, giving up very few legitimate chances.
The beginning of the first half was all Lions, with shot after shot being taken against junior Hopkins goalkeeper Clara Aranguren. However, halfway through and with some fresh faces on the field, the Blue Jays took over, putting pressure on Lions goalkeeper, senior Jessica Weeder. In total the Lions had seven shots against the Blue Jays who had four.
Thoresen, who was part of numerous pushes into the Johns Hopkins zone, said things just weren’t going the right way.
“I think it was just bad luck,” Thoresen said. “Everything that could go wrong did and we weren’t able to finish during opportunities.”
The second half saw more of the same, but with the Blue Jays attacking more aggressively and getting off 12 shots compared to the College’s nine. However, the shots were more evenly paced out, with Johns Hopkins getting off a shot followed by the College and vice versa. Neither team held on to the ball long in this half.
Ninety minutes came and went, leaving both teams to go out for at least two 10-minute overtime periods. The Lions dominated the first overtime, getting off five shots and leaving Johns Hopkins with nothing. Freshman midfielder Arielle Curtis had a shot opportunity at the end to put the team up, but it was blocked, leading the teams to a second overtime.
Neither team could get an upper hand over the other this time, leaving the game to end in a 0-0 tie.
Roach says the team’s disappointment will have to lead into some improvements.
“Our will to win was there, we wanted this game more then them,” Roach said. “We need to work on finishing (our opportunities).”
The team now has a few days off to rest and practice before they take the field again on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at home against Penn State Harrisburg.