Stevens gives Lions first loss of the season

The Lions continue pushing toward the playoffs. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
The Lions continue pushing toward the playoffs. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

By Michael Battista
Sports Editor

With the season in its final stretch, the women’s soccer team fouled late, and lost their first game of the season with a 4-0 final against Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, Oct. 21. They also tied fellow New Jersey Athletic Conference team William Paterson University on Saturday, Oct. 24, 0-0, after double overtime.

In the last non-NJAC game of the regular season, the Lions traveled up to Hoboken, N.J., to face off against the No. 12, 11-2-1, Stevens Ducks.

From the start, neither team gave up anything easily, with both trading shots at the other’s goals evenly. Over the 90-minute span, the Lions only narrowly outshot the Ducks, 16 to 13.

The College’s offense did put pressure on the Ducks, with sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Mahnken pushing back numerous shots in order to keep a clean sheet for the match.

Stevens struck first blood 25 minutes into the first half, and added three more goals in the second, with the last coming only 40 seconds from the games’ final horn.

Their winning streak increased to seven games, while the Lions’ 14 game season long streak was broken.

Coach Joe Russo thinks the team could have done better.

“I don’t think the final score was indicative of the play we put out,” he said. “The two teams were pretty even, but it just wasn’t our night.”

The team had to shake off the loss quickly, as three days later they traveled to Wayne, N.J., in a match game against William Paterson University.

After a hard season, the 4-9-2 (1-5-1 in the NJAC) Pioneers played an impressive defensive game against the No. 6 ranked Lions, holding them to zero goals the entire game.

The team’s chances piled up in the second half, totalling 14 shots on goal in all the entire match. While on the other side, the Pioneers’ first and only shot on goal came in the first overtime.

The Lions’ offense couldn’t finish on their shots, and got over zealous four times as they were called offsides. Sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Thoresen, who had five shots in the contest, also received a yellow card late in the 71st minute.

“We didn’t capitalize on our chances,” Russo said. “Our play and spirit was good, but we didn’t finish.”

After both the regular 90 minutes and two overtime periods, the score remained 0-0, giving the Lions another tie on the season.

Now with 20 points in the NJAC, three points above Montclair State University and Rowan University, the Lions hold the lead and with a win or tie against Rowan on Wednesday, Oct. 28, on the road, they will clinch the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

Even with the past few games in recent memory, Russo thinks the team is still a threat.

“We have (the conference’s) attention,” he said. “We played very well on Saturday, we just need to work on our chances.”