Split decision: Lions grounded by Blue Jays, slow down Roadrunners

The women’s soccer team once again split their games this week, losing to the No. 7-ranked Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays on Oct. 22, but downing the Ramapo University Roadrunners on Oct. 25.

Their overall record now stands at 10-5-1, 5-2-1 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC), good enough for the third place in the NJAC.

Unfortunately, the Lions could not get a win on Senior Night, but displayed tremendous effort against the Blue Jays, despite the loss.

Both Johns Hopkins and the Lions had several scoring chances, but great plays by each team’s junior goalkeeper, Karen Guszkowski for the Blue Jays and Jessica Clarke for the Lions, kept it even most of the way.

Oddly enough, the Lions’ Senior Night was spoiled by a freshman. The Blue Jays’ rookie forward Leslie O’Brien scored the lone goal of the match with 12:36 remaining to secured the victory for Johns Hopkins.

The Lion seniors, defenseman Jillian Casey, forward Erin Cunliffe, defenseman Laura Delaney, guard Amy Hashem, goalkeeper Kristina Kuda, forwards Jamie Kunkel and Allie Schilling and midfielder Coleen Weber were shown respect and honored by their teammates, coaches and fans for contributing time, effort and hard work to the College’s women’s soccer program.

Kunkel wasn’t startled by the loss.

“We still feel confident because (the Blue Jays) were undefeated,” she said. “We know we were in it and we feel like we could play with anyone.”

Despite the disappointing loss, the Lions were able to finish the week on a high note Saturday with a 4-1 beating of Ramapo. The College’s scores came from three different contributors, as senior Laura Delaney was able to add two goals to raise her season total to eight.

Delaney scored the first two goals of the game and the only two of the first half, the first coming off an unassisted scramble in front of the net, and the second off an assist from Nikki Migliori. Ten minutes into the second half, the Lions continued to pour it on the Roadrunners as Erin Cunliffe put one into the back of the net. The Lions’ final goal came from Casey Caruso at the 80-minute mark.

The third-place Lions travel to Newark to face Rutgers University at 7 tonight. Although the team will not have a bye in this year’s NJAC tournament, Kunkel says confidence is still high.

“Nothing has really changed in the past three years,” she said. “We need to go out and win the game.”

– Additional reporting by James Queally, Sports Editor