(Posted October 3, 2006)

Lebanon Valley 3, Juniata 2 ANNVILLE, Pa. â?? In a battle between a pair of nationally ranked teams, the Juniata College field hockey team had its second-half rally come up just a bit short as the 14th-ranked Eagles fell to 12th-ranked Lebanon Valley College 3-2 in Commonwealth Conference action Tuesday afternoon. The loss was the first of the season for Juniata which falls to 9-1 overall and 3-1 in the Commonwealth Conference. Lebanon Valley is now 8-1 on the season, and 2-1 in the Commonwealth. With Lebanon Valley leading 1-0 at halftime, the pace and scoring picked up in the second half. Just six minutes into the second stanza Juniata\'s Leslie Stern (Red Lion/Felton) knocked home her fourth goal of the season off an assist from Meredith Low (Sun Valley/Aston) to knot the score at one goal apiece. The assist was the 13th of the season for Low, which establishes a new Juniata single-season record for assists. Lebanon Valley quickly responded with Alex Wolfe converting a Chelsea Byers pass in the 44th minute to give the Flying Dutchmen a 2-1 lead. Eleven minutes later it appeared the home team had at the match out of reach when a pass from Steph Marguglio sprung Shauna Eck on a breakaway and she beat Juniata goalie Abby Funk (Lewisburg/Lewisburg) to give Lebanon Valley a 3-1 edge with 15:35 remaining in the match. But Juniata\'s offense answered again, this time with Kim Wagner (Middletown/Middletown) blasting home her 23rd goal of the season from the top of the scoring circle to cut the lead to one. Minutes later, it appeared Juniata had tied the game when Erin Smith\'s (Palmyra/Palmyra) shot found the back of the cage, but the score was disallowed when the officials ruled it had struck the foot of a Juniata player before going in. The Eagles continued to pressure getting a few shots off in the final 10 minutes but the Eagles could not find the equalizer. Funk kept the Eagles within one goal with several key stops down the stretch, including stopping a Christine Schairer penalty shot with less than two minutes remaining. The back-and-forth second half was a bit different than the first 35 minutes when Lebanon Valley had the bulk of the scoring chances. After earning five penalty corners and forcing Funk to make three saves in the first 12 minutes, Lebanon Valley got the opening goal when Wolfe converted a cross from Marguglio in the 15th minute. Juniata was outshot 12-4 in the first half, but Funk made six of her nine saves in the first 35 minutes to keep Juniata within striking distance. Her nine saves matched a career high. Katie Pawlewicz made five saves in goal for Lebanon Valley in the match. Juniata\'s nine-consecutive victories to open the season marked the longest winning streak in the program\'s history, besting a seven-match streak Juniata enjoyed in 2005. The Eagles will return to action on Thursday with a non-conference match against York College in Huntingdon. ###

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