Lions defeat two NJAC rivals

In a closely contested game that remained tied for the majority of the 90 minutes, the College’s women’s soccer team defeated the Kean University Cougars, 2-1.

Junior midfielder Lauren DiStefano scored the winning goal for the Lions are 9-2 overall, 4-1 New Jersey Athletic Association (NJAC), on a penalty kick at 64:29.

The game remained scoreless throughout the first half. Junior midfielders Katie Egan and Stephanie Peters paired up to score the first goal of the game at 47:38. Egan took advantage of a pass from Peters to give the Lions their 1-0 lead.

The game was tied again at 60:49 when Cougars’ junior defender April Dunker used freshman midfielder Brienne Campbell’s corner kick to knot the score at 1-1.

Less than five minutes later, DiStefano nailed the last goal of the game to give the Lions a 2-1 win.

The Cougars only managed two shots on goal, one of which was saved by Lions’ sophomore keeper, Alissa Kacar.

In comparison, the Lions mustered 30 shots on goal. Eighteen of those shots were stopped by senior goalie Jessica Kogel.

Egan said the rainy weather effected the outcome of the game.

“You never want to blame the weather for anything, but they weren’t the best conditions,” Egan said.

“We didn’t play exceptionally well, but we got the desired results,” Head Coach Joe Russo said.

Lions 5, Ospreys 0

In a battle between the two best teams in the NJAC, the Lions shutout the sixth-ranked Ospreys of Richard Stockton College 5-0 on Oct. 1.

Egan stressed the importance that this game will have on the final result in the NJAC.

“It’s never good to have any losses in the conference but now everyone has one loss and we’re back on a level playing field,” Egan said.

Lions fans filled the cold metal bleachers despite the unexpected cold weather to watch the Lions hand the Ospreys (7-1 overall, 3-1 NJAC) their first loss of the season.

Russo said the Lions have changed since their loss to Rutgers University-Camden Scarlet Raptors.

“We’re a bit more focused and tuned in,” he said. “Games like that ground you a little bit.”

Sophomore forward Brittny Boyd gave the Lions a 1-0 lead with her first goal of the season at 33:07.

An assist from DiStefano and fellow junior midfielder Peters was needed to complete the play. DiStefano headed the ball towards the goal and Peters kept it on track as Boyd finished the play, tapping the ball into the lower left corner of the goal.

Boyd, DiStefano and Peters each contributed a goal and an assist toward the win.

Peters strengthened the Lions’ halftime lead by scoring off an assist from freshman midfielder Lisa Kokotajlo, with only two and a half minutes left in the first half.

Three seconds after being re-entered into the game in the second half, freshman forward Christine Mullin nailed Boyd’s assist past Osprey keeper Becky Baisley.

Five minutes later, DiStefano took advantage of a penalty kick, sending the ball past the fingertips of Baisley into the upper-left corner of the goal, handing the Lions a comfortable 4-0 lead.

Freshman defender Bernadette Coyle scored the last goal of the night by redirecting a save by Baisley into the goal with a header at 74:49.

Russo said the size of the home crowd aided the Lions achieve the win.

“They definitely feed off of that type of energy,” Russo said.

The Lions defeated all three opponents they’ve faced at Lions Stadium with a combined score of 24-0.

In goal, Kacar earned her fourth solo shutout of the year with four saves, while Baisley managed six saves in the loss.

The Lions also outshot the Ospreys 27-5 by the end of the night.

The win improved the College’s all-time record against Richard Stockton College to 16-2-1.

This week marked the first week since 1990 that the Lions had not been ranked in the NSCAA/Adidas Division III national poll. They were ranked ninth the week prior to a 1-0 loss to Rutgers University-Camden.

Upcoming Game

The Lions will travel to Rowan University to continue NJAC competition tonight at 5 p.m.