By Miguel Gonzalez
It was a tale of two contrasting stories for the No. 4 nationally ranked field hockey team this week.
On Oct. 17, the Lions bulldozed Stockton University, 6-0, on the road in Pomona, New Jersey. The team then returned to Lions Stadium for an anticipated matchup against the No. 13 Kean University on Saturday, Oct. 21. The Lions lost to Kean, 2-1, in overtime.
The Lions offense pounded Stockton defenders. Freshman forward Tori Tiefenthaler contributed three goals for the Lions.
The offensive surge began when sophomore forward/midfielder Kayla Peterson blasted a shot off a penalty corner from junior forward Taylor Barrett.
In the eighth minute, Tiefenthaler flickered a shot upward and netted in the Lions second goal.
Stockton immediately countered and pressured the Lions defense with four consecutive penalty corners. Senior goalkeeper Christina Fabiano thwarted Stockton, as she captured three saves.
By the middle of the first half, the Lions showed intense offensive aggression. After senior forward Elizabeth Morrison shot twice on goal, Tiefenthaler tapped the ball past left post to put the Lions ahead, 3-0. But Tiefenthaler was not done yet.
In the 30th minute, junior midfielder/defender Sydney Padilla launched a hurling shot from the top of the arc. Tiefenthaler caught the rebound and tapped in her third goal of the match.
With two minutes left in the first half, Morrison added her own goal when she secured a rebound and blasted the ball into the net. The Lions had a commanding 5-0 lead by halftime and carried their substantial lead to a 6-0 shutout victory.
The Lions welcomed conference rival Kean University on Homecoming night. Both the Lions and Cougars fought to stay undefeated in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, but Kean prevailed in a crushing loss for the Lions in overtime.
After a quiet first half, the Cougars struck first when senior forward Krista LaMaina tapped in a goal with an assist from senior midfielder/defensive back Shauna LaMaina.
In the 60th minute, the Lions began to press hard against the Cougars as they attempted three consecutive penalty corners. Junior midfielder/forward Caroline Quinn and Barrett both recorded shots, by they were blocked by Cougars freshman goalkeeper Megan Houser.
With three minutes remaining, sophomore forward Cayla Andrews knocked in a rebound and scored the equalizer to send the game to overtime. However, Andrews’ celebration was short lived when the Cougars scored the game winning goal within the next minute during overtime.
The team’s loss to Kean University marks the Lions’ third regular season loss to a ranked opponent. The Lions conclude their conference schedule with a 5-1 record, while Kean has a chance to clinch the top seed in the upcoming NJAC Tournament with their next match against William Paterson University.