Two more shutout wins shoot Lions to No. 3

With a pair of 2-0 shutout victories against Ramapo College and Richard Stockton College this week, the women’s soccer team now finds itself atop the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and ranked third in the latest NSCAA/adidias Division III national poll with a 7-0 overall record.

Showing good possession and aggressive play, the Lions were able to put together several scoring opportunities in each game while limiting their opponents to only a handful of unproductive shots.

Despite the modest two-goal performances, the Lions created plenty of scoring opportunities, a good sign for the offense.

“We created a lot of chances, but our finishing wasn’t very good,” head coach Joe Russo said.

The Lions jumped out to an early lead against Stockton, as sophomore forward Dana DiBruno collected her ninth goal of the season off a deflection from sophomore forward Beth Pagano in the 40th minute.

The play was set up by a cross from sophomore midfielder Kristen Cubicciotti.

The Lions added an insurance goal in the second half, as freshman forward Allie Schilling converted on a well-timed feed from Pagano.

With the win, the Lions handed Stockton their first conference loss and snapped the Ospreys’ three-game winning streak.

On Wednesday, the Lions dominated play, keeping the ball in Ramapo territory for most of the game while outshooting the Roadrunners 29-2.

Once again, DiBruno put the Lions on the board early as she cashed in on a short feed from Cubicciotti from within 18 yards.

The play was set up by a long throw-in from junior defender Courtney Krol. Later in the half, the Lions added another goal. Senior forward Brittny Boyd dribbled up the near side and chipped a perfect cross to the far post, where freshman defender Jillian Casey was able to one-touch the ball into the net for her third goal of the season.

Lions goal keeper Alissa Kacar enjoyed her team’s defensive effort, as she needed just one save against the Roadrunners and three against the Ospreys to earn her third and fourth shutouts of the season.

The two games marked the first two appearances for the Lions on their home turf, which plays much quicker than a traditional grass field. However, the Lions were able to maintain possession and play well together.

“The possession is starting to come along,” Russo said. “We’re just getting used to this surface.”

The Lions hope to carry this momentum into Wednesday’s game against conference rival Rowan University for their 5 p.m. matchup.