The women’s soccer team (12-0-1) remained undefeated this weekend, taking down Kean University 2-1.
Ranked third in the Division III national standings, the Lions are dominant within the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). With a conference mark of 5-0-1, they are the only team to remain undefeated in the NJAC.
“Being undefeated is definitely one of our team goals, but it is not something we really talk about,” junior midfielder Coleen Weber said. “I am just happy we are playing well and winning. Winning a national championship is our ultimate goal.”
The Lions were able to pick up the win away from home with help from their potent offense. Out-shooting the Cougars 32-2 and earning six more corner kicks than their opponent gave the Lions enough opportunities to score.
Despite a shooting advantage, the Lions headed into halftime scoreless.
“In the first half, we had some great opportunities to score, and unfortunately we were unlucky and hit the post a few times,” senior forward Dana DiBruno said. “The teams we play in NJAC present us with some problems because they play very defensively and have pretty thorough game plans from their scouting reports.”
DiBruno was able to break the stalemate less than three minutes into the second half by shooting a pass from senior midfielder Kristen Cubicciotti past Kean’s sophomore goalkeeper Nicole Groszew. The goal was DiBruno’s eighth of the season.
The Cougars tied the game just five minutes later with a goal from senior forward Michelle Fischer. Kean sophomore forward Kristin Cizek picked up the assist.
Junior forward Jamie Kunkel netted the game-winning goal for the Lions in the 69th minute. It was the third time Kunkel has scored the winning goal this year. She leads the team in scoring with 12 goals on the season.
“I made a run on the left side, and (DiBruno) sent me a through-ball behind the defender,” Kunkel said. “I cut it back and hit it over the goalie’s head about 20 yards out.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Clarke earned the win in net for the Lions. Until the goal she allowed in the second half, Clarke had gone over 1,012 consecutive minutes without being scored on.
The Lions have out-shot their opponents 388-44 so far this season. Despite less in-game pressure, the Lions are confident in their defensive abilities.
“A lot of people might think that because we outshoot other teams by so much our defense falls off,” Weber said. “In practice we really take it to one another, and that really helps our defense stay in good shape.”
“These games are only leading up to the ones that really matter: The NJAC tournament and eventually the NCAA,” Kunkel added. “We are taking the last four games one at a time.”
The team’s next game is tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at William Paterson University.