Soccer defeats Montclair in NJAC Opener

The women’s soccer team triumphed 2-0 over the Red Hawks of Montclair State University (MSU) in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opener on Thursday night.

“Because it was our fist NJAC game, we knew that we had to work our hardest to get the win,” senior midfielder Stephanie Peters, who scored the Lions’ final goal, said.

And they did.

However, for the first part of the game, play was fairly even and concentrated primarily around midfield.

Together, both teams took only six shots in the first half. But just prior to the 15 minute mark, one of those shots found its way past Red Hawks sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Kuhmann, to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.

Junior Brittny Boyd scored the goal. Boyd broke through the Red Hawks defense chasing a dump pass from senior defender Shannon Scott and placed the ball into the lower right corner despite the effort of the Red Hawks diving goalkeeper.

The Lions retained their 1-0 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Peters, assisted by sophomore midfielder Lisa Kokotajlo, added an insurance goal when she fired a shot into the lower left corner from about five yards out. This is the fourth goal for Peters this season.

Junior goalkeeper Alissa Kacar aided in the shut-out with a pair of stops. She now has four shut-out wins for the season.

Kuhmann picked up six saves for MSU.

This is the 18th time the Lions have faced the Red Hawks. The overall series record for the Lions stands at 16-1-1.

“(Because of this history), we knew that they would be gunning for us so we knew how crucial it was for us to stick together and play our hearts out,” Peters said.

After this victory, the Lions improve to a 4-1-1 season record and are ranked ninth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas Division III poll.

As for the rest of the season, Peters said the team is “going to take it one game at a time and give it 110 percent.”

The Lions will ride out to face Ramapo College of New Jersey today at 4:30 p.m. in their second NJAC game of the season.