Field hockey struggles against ranked foe

For the second week in a row, the College’s field hockey team was handed a loss by a New Jersey Athletic Conference rival.

After suffering their first loss of the season to the hands of Montclair State University last week, the No. 6-ranked Lions (12-2) fell short again 2-1 on Saturday, Oct. 13, to No. 16-ranked Rowan University.

The first half of the contest ended with both teams standing at a stalemate in a scoreless tie, but there was plenty of field hockey ahead for both squads.

The Lions would light up the scoreboard first after Rowan scored on their own goal almost five minutes into the final half. The Profs would surge forward on the offensive attack minutes later, but the Lions held them off for the time being.

Freshman goalkeeper Roison Dougherty made her first of two stops during the offensive attack when Rowan junior midfielder/forward Amy McKeever fired a shot at the cage. She made the other stop after a penalty corner by sophomore midfielder Lauren Pigott.

The College loses another close game to a tough opponent. (Photo by Julianne Grandal)

Rowan would not let up and charged toward the cage in the 53rd minute. Sophomore forward Kellie Campbell dribbled the ball up and then found fellow sophomore Karlee Henderson in front of the cage. Henderson then deflected the ball past Dougherty and into the lower left corner of the cage.

The 1-1 tie would hold for nearly 10 minutes until sophomore forward/midfielder Jenna O’Sullivan tipped in a shot by senior captain Erin Bernat — a goal that would end up deciding the game.

The Lions, who only took eight shots on the day, were only able to manage two more offensive shots in the remaining 8:07 of play, but neither found the back of the cage.

“(Healy’s) eye was really on the ball that day so Jill Nealon and I kept feeding her the ball,” said Jenkins, who assisted on one of Healy’s goals. “The forward’s job is to finish the ball in the cage and to put points up on the board. (Healy) was hot (against Neumann) and was able to generate a lot of offense by putting the ball in the cage.”

Earlier in the week, the Lions were a polar opposite on offense, getting off 34 shots in a 5-1 victory over Neumann University.

The most effective of the Lions forwards was sophomore Erin Healy, who attempted five shots and was successful on four of them to increase her goal total for the season to 10.

“During the Rowan game we came out hard but the team chemistry was not there,” senior forward Caitlyn Jenkins said. “There is no doubt in my mind that everyone out on the field is giving 110 percent for the full 70 minutes of the game. However, we did not gel as a team and Rowan took advantage of it again. In a way it is a good thing because now we know what we need to focus on in practice and we can have a sense of revenge when we meet up with them again.”

The Lions other score came off the stick of senior forward Jillian Nealon, who leads the Lions with an astounding 18 goals in 2012.

On defense, the Lions only allowed the Knights to record a total of two shots, while Dougherty picked up one save.

The Lions next matchup comes Thursday, Oct. 18, when they travel to face No. 12-ranked Messiah College.