With their national tournament hopes on the ropes, the College’s field hockey team threw every blow they had against Rowan University in the opening round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference championships on Saturday, Nov. 3.
However, when the clock hit zero, it was the Profs who threw the final knockout punch.
After tying things the score twice in the game, the Lions surrendered the deciding goal in a 4-3 loss with 22:34 left. The College kept the pressure on, but Rowan blocked two shots and saved four others, including a defensive save by Kelsey O’Neil on a Jordan Calderone shot with 59 seconds left.
Senior forward Caitlyn Jenkins said that the Lions never gave up hope until the clock ran out.
“I never lack faith in myself and more importantly I never lack faith in my teammates and I know they don’t lack faith in themselves,” Jenkins said. “Until the final whistle blew we knew we could come back and win, but the time did not allow us.”
Senior midfielder Camille Passucci concurred, saying that time just ran out on the Lions.
“You only have a certain amount of time to do what you have to do, and we didn’t in that time period,” Passucci said about the game.
The Lions fell behind early to the Profs, allowing two goals in the first six minutes. However, they surged forward as a team goal and one off the stick of Passucci tied things at 2-2.
The Profs went ahead again after Kellie Campbell scored her second goal of the game. That score was countered by Calderone, a freshman forward, who scored on her second attempt during a breakaway opportunity.
“Although we try not to make it a habit,” Jenkins said. “No matter how many goals we are down, we never give up. We always fight for each other every second of each game and that allowed us to battle back twice.”
The comeback would not be completed though as Campbell put an end to the Lions, season as she notched a hat trick.
The loss came nearly a week after the Lions came back from down 2-0 to beat SUNY Cortland 4-3 on Sunday, Oct. 28.
The Lions ended the season at 15-5, but it was not enough to qualify for a chance to defend last year’s national title — something that Jenkins still has a hard time fathoming.
“It’s still hard to believe that, as a senior, that was my last game,” Jenkins said. “It’s a shame that we don’t have the chance to defend our national title this year.”