Postseason play leads to Lion struggles

A strong regular season has yet to translate to playoff succes for the College, but there is hope in Nationals. (Courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Two weeks of postseason play have proven frustrating for the women’s soccer team. Coming off of a fantastic win against New Jersey City University on Oct. 20, the Lions entered a Kicking for the Cure match with Rowan University on Thursday, Oct. 25 to see who would earn a bye in the first week of the NJAC tournament.

The Rowan Profs came into the game just as fierce as the Lions, and this showed as no score was put up for the entire 110 minutes of play.

The College came the closest to scoring in the first half of the game when sophomore defender Jordan Downs served a corner kick to freshman midfielder Taylor Lusardi, but the Profs’ goalie barricaded the net and prevented any score.

The Lions received another chance later in the game with a penalty kick in the last two minutes, but was prevented again by the Profs’ goalie.  However, freshman goalie Jessica Weeder had her first game in the goal and showcased her talent in the 0-0 tie.

Before the game, the College recognized the seniors that will be leaving: Allison Foy, Amy Van Dyk, Jessica Davila, Brenna Rubino, Katie Landrigan, Allyson Anderson, Katie Cornacchia, Kyra Janeczek and Maria Grady.

The Lions came off of this frustrating tie still confident in their ability to dominate the NJAC playoffs.

“We feel pretty confident going into the NJAC playoffs,” junior midfielder Sloan DePiero said. “There is always some tough competition with NJAC teams, and this year especially there are definitely some teams we’re going to face who are going to give us a good challenge. We will be fine though, if we play like we’ve been playing all year, things will fall into place and results will come.”

When thinking about the team’s results from the previous year, Downs reflected, “Last year left a bad taste in our mouths and I can tell by how intense our practices are that everyone wants another shot at the NCAA championship.”

This intense want and desire for deeper play into the NJAC tournament was definitely proven in the College’s game against Kean University on Saturday Oct. 27. The match ended in yet another tie, 2-2, causing the 17th-ranked Lions to wait to hear the announcement of the field for the NCAA Division III tournament.

The first goal of the game came only 3:14 into it, when senior forward Katie Landrigan scored, assisted by junior forward Katie Lindacher. The Cougars then followed up with one of their own, but this Lion combination scored again but with switched roles, in which Lindacher scored, assisted by Landrigan.

The Cougars tied the game with only 1:37 left and pushed play to overtime, in which the score remained tied at 2-2, despite a valiant effort from Downs, who had two stellar shots on goal.

Sophomore goalie Kendra Griffith remained in the Lions’ goal for the whole game and garnered a total of six saves.

Despite a disappointing few games, the Lions were recognized for their stellar season. Foy was named the 2012 NJAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row and Van Dyk was awarded with Midfielder of the Year. These Lions were also selected for the All-NJAC First Team along with Lindacher,  Rubino, DePiero and Griffith.