College heads into playoffs riding 30-game regular season win streak

The women’s soccer team capped off a perfect regular season on Wednesday by defeating Kean University 2-0.

The victory raised the College’s record to 16-0, 9-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).

The College remained ranked No. 2 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas Division III poll.

“It’s a great accomplishment and really a credit to the kids who have worked so hard,” head coach Joe Russo said. “It’s a great feeling.”

The win clinched the top seed and a first round bye in the upcoming NJAC Tournament, where the winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.

The Lions hosted Richard Stockton College last night at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the NJAC Tournament. Results could not be included by press time.

“This (tournament) is our second season,” Russo said. “All these teams are good. It’s as difficult an NJAC tournament I’ve seen in all my years here.”

Against Kean, sophomore forward Dana DiBruno tallied her team-leading 16th goal of the year to lead the Lions over the Cougars.

DiBruno scored on a pass from sophomore midfielder Kristen Cubicciotti. The goal was DiBruno’s 41st point this season, leaving her five shy of the single-season points mark set by Traci Trapp in 1998.

Freshman defenseman Jillian Casey added an insurance goal in the 62nd minute off a feed from freshman midfielder Erin Cunliffe.

Senior goalie Alissa Kacar made three saves to earn her 10th solo shutout of the year; it was the team’s 15th. The shutout was the 28th of Kacar’s career, moving the No. 3 spot on the school list.

“(Kacar) is commanding of the box and the backline,” Russo said. “She’s done a great job.”

The College once again dominated play, holding a 27-5 advantage in shots.

The win was the Lions’ 30th straight regular season victory, dating back to last season.

On Oct. 24, senior foward Brittny Boyd’s three goals led the College to a 5-0 victory at William Paterson University.

With the hat trick, Boyd collected her 100th career point, becoming only the fourth Lion in history to reach the mark.

“She’s been outstanding and getting her 100th point is well deserved,” Russo said. “She leads in a quiet way and works very hard. She’s a great kid.”

Freshmen forwards Jamie Kunkel and Jillian Casey also added goals, while DiBruno dished out three assists.

Boyd and DiBruno both scored in a 4-0 Lions’ win over Stevens Institute of Technology, in their final home game on Oct. 19. Sophomore defenseman Courtney Krol netted the game winner in the 42nd minute. Freshman forward Allie Schilling also scored her sixth goal of the season.

The Lions have outscored their opponents 65-2 this season.

“That’s a testament to the whole group, the back line,” Russo said. “Alissa (Kacar) has been very steady and consistent the whole year.”