Women’s soccer shuts out Kean and Gwynedd-Mercy

The College’s women’s soccer team recorded two impressive shutout wins this week, improving to a 10-1-1 record on the season. The wins allowed the Lions to retain their No. 8 ranking in Division III.

The team began the week by defeating Kean University on Monday by a score of 5-0 in a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) match-up. The Lions dominated offensively, scoring four goals in the first half and adding their fifth and final goal late in the second half. Sophomore midfielder Caitlin Brennan scored two goals in the game.

“Offensively, we just dominated,” Brennan said. “We’ve been pushing up more as a team and that’s helping us offensively a lot more.”

In addition to being an important NJAC victory, Monday’s win also extended the Lions’ unbeaten home streak to 50 consecutive games. The last time the Lions lost on their home turf was a 2-0 loss to William Paterson University on Oct. 14, 1998.

Senior defender and co-captain Jamie Acheson said she feels that this winning streak makes each home game a little more important and special. “I think when we play at home it adds more of a sense of meaning to us because we haven’t lost on our home turf since 1998,” Acheson said. “That tends to fuel the fire for us to play that much better at home.”

Although the Lions have been dominant at home, they have also been successful in their away games. Thursday’s game at Gwynedd-Mercy College was no exception, as the Lions defeated the Griffins by a score of 6-0. Senior midfielder Stephanie Peters scored a goal in each half of the Lions-dominated match.

Thursday’s victory extended the Lions’ current winning streak to eight consecutive games. The Lions have been offensively dominant, outscoring their opponents 11-0 and out-shooting their opponents 54-5. The defense has also been stellar, as the Griffins did not register a single shot-on-goal in Thursday’s match-up.

Head coach Joe Russo said the combination of offense and defense is what is leading to the team’s current success.

“It’s been a combination of good offense and defense that’s led to our success. We’ve been pretty well-organized in the defense, and if you defend well it leads to a lot of attacking opportunities,” Russo said.

Although the team has been playing well, Russo thinks they are handling their success aptly.

“The team is feeling confident right now, but they’ve been very business-like about it,” Russo said. “They don’t get too high. It’s a senior-laden group, so they understand where they are now, where they have to go and how they need to get there.”

Acheson agrees that while the players are feeling confident, they are not letting the success dictate their play on the field.

“We don’t usually worry about a winning streak or anything like that,” Acheson said. “We are feeling confident, but we’re taking it game by game. We worry about how we feel and not how it looks to other people. It’s a great position to be in at this point in the season.”

The Lions have two NJAC games remaining on their regular season schedule.

Russo said the team is doing well and that the Lions are on their way to achieving their goals for the season.

“Our first immediate goal is to win the conference,” Russo said. “I think we’ve had great success against our conference opponents so far. Ultimately, our goals are to win the regionals and the national championship.”

They look to take their next steps toward achieving their goals today, when they take on Rutgers University-Newark away in an NJAC game.