By Alexandra Parado
The College’s field hockey team won its fourth-straight New Jersey Athletic Conference title.
The Lions beat Rowan University 4-3 at home on Wednesday, Nov. 1, in the NJAC Tournament semifinals. The team then faced off against Kean University and emerged victorious with a 2-1 win, taking the title No. 1 seeded Kean.
The Lions and Rowan University battled back and forth a win in the first match. Rowan put themselves on the board first over an intense exchange seven minutes into the game. Sophomore forward/midfielder Kayla Peterson blocked the first shot with her stick before Rowan scored a goal off her rebound.
Fighting to get the ball, the Lions finally scored 19 minutes in when freshman forward Tori Tiefenthaler deflected a shot from junior midfielder/defender Sidney Padilla. Less than three minutes after the goal, Rowan fired back and took a 2-1 lead before halftime.
After the Lions regrouped in halftime, they showed an incredible offensive and defensive effort in the second half.
The Lions fought back in the second half when junior forward Taylor Barrett started to drive the ball into Rowan territory. Then Peterson finessed the ball until she was 10 yards in front of the goal and blasted in her eighth goal of the season, which tied the game at 2-2.
Rowan showed determination with a third goal just a few minutes after Peterson’s shot, but senior forward Elizabeth Morrison tricked Rowan’s goalie with some misdirection and fed the ball to junior forward Caroline Quinn who finished the shot, tying the game for the third time.
With about five minutes remaining, Padilla sent an entry pass from 45 yards out, where Tiefenthaler found the deflection and scored her second goal of the game.
“It means everything to all of them no matter who got the goal,”said head coach Sharon Pfluger. “It was a great goal and the team is happy to walk off the field having fought so hard.”
The Lions outshot Rowan 21-14, with 10 of those shots being on goal. Tiefenthaler’s goal concluded the game at 4-3, sending the Lions to the NJAC final.
On Saturday, Nov. 4, Kean hosted the Lions for the final round of the NJAC Tournament.
Peterson got the Lions on the board early, with an assist by Padilla for a 1-0 lead.
Halfway through the opening period, sophomore midfielder Jillian Farley backhanded a loose ball right in front of Kean’s net, and knocked it in to extend the College’s lead to 2-0.
Tiefenthaler had the chance to put the Lions up by three, but Kean’s defense kept them in a tight game.
With about 10 minutes remaining, Kean broke through off a penalty corner. Kean scored and brought the score to 2-1.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, the Lions faced six additional penalty corners. Senior goalkeeper Christina Fabiano made three saves in that duration with a total of nine saves in the win against Kean.
The victory marks the 25th NJAC title for Pfluger, who will coach the Lions on Nov. 11 against the winner of Keene State vs. SUNY Cortland in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.