By Alexandra Parado
The College’s nationally ranked field hockey team challenged three New Jersey Athletic Conference opponents in the past few weeks — the Lions fell against Montclair State University, 1-2 and again against Rowan University, 2-3.
After two losses, the team recovered with a shutout victory in a challenge against Kean University with a final score of 5-0.
On Oct. 13, the Lions hosted Montclair State for a 1 p.m. match up. Coming in strong, the team endured against Montclair’s defense throughout the contest.
Sophomore forward Tori Tiefenthaler scored the first goal of the game. This goal was part of a team effort by sophomore midfielder Samantha Reed who drove the ball into the arc, and junior forward Cayla Andrews who assisted Tiefenthaler’s goal.
Less than five minutes later, Montclair State responded, tying up the game 1-1. Neither team found the opportunity to score again, but the Lions’ defense was resilient throughout the rest of the game, outshooting Montclair State 17-9.
The game was forced into overtime and Montclair State had two shots that went wide. Later, opponent senior forward/midfielder Victoria Rossi went against junior goalkeeper Maddie Beaumont on a breakaway and scored the game-winning goal, finalizing the game with a score of 1-2.
The team traveled to Glassboro, New Jersey on Oct. 16 to challenge Rowan, who defeated the Lions 3-2. This defeat advanced Rowan’s ranking to fourth in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division III Coaches Poll, and placed the College fifth.
Andrews scored the game’s first goal early in the seventh minute.
For the rest of the half, action was heavy on the Lions’ territory, but Beaumont kept the Lions’ lead by having five saves in the first half.
Rowan scored a pair of goals to open the second half. With 16 minutes remaining in the game, Rowan scored another goal off a corner, resulting in a final score of 3-2.
With the team losing two conference games in a row, there are lessons to be learned from for the future.
Junior forward/midfielder Kayla Peterson and saw the losses as an opportunity for the team to grow stronger.
“These two losses were tough but it just gives us an extra competitive edge that is very important as we begin to wind down from regular season and into post season play,” Peterson said. “We will hopefully see both of those teams later in the season in the conference championship tournament and I think we will be able to learn from the last games to come out strong against them and be able to come out on top this time.”
On the defensive side, Beaumont achieved a career high of 10 saves for the Lions.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, the team bounced back from two close losses and triumphed against Kean with a score of 5-0.
Andrews was able to give the team an early lead, scoring off a deflected shot by Tiefenthaler. Just minutes later, junior forward Jordan Allegretto scored off a penalty corner.
The Lions were ahead 3-0 by the end of the first half with Andrews scoring two of the three goals.
In the second half, Peterson scored immediately, obtaining her 13th goal of the season. Peterson later assisted the game’s final goal made by junior forward Iris Schuck.
The Lions outshot Kean 18-8 and Beaumont accounted for the four shots on goal made by Kean.
The team is now 11-3, and 3-2 in the NJAC. On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Lions will host Stockton University for their Homecoming and senior day. This challenge will be the team’s last in-season game.