After beating Rowan University to lock up the No. 1 seed in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC), the Lions faced off against Kean University on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at home in the first game of the tournament.
Sophomore Jaclyn Douglas was able to get on the board for the Lions just two minutes into the game off a shot inside the circle, with the pass coming from junior Mikayla Cimilluca.
The Lions never looked back, scoring two more in the first half by Douglas and senior Lindsey Hatch – who also set the College’s single-season record for assists with her 20th, helping Douglas get her second goal.
The second half continued in the same fashion, with two more goals coming from seniors Victoria Martin and Erin Healy. Kean was able to get in the box score before the closing minutes, heading home with a 5-1 loss.
After their win against Kean, the Lions faced a much tougher task in the NJAC tournament title game against Rowan University. The Profs scored first, with a goal from junior Sam Browne four minutes into the game. But the Lions were able to tie up the game in the last minutes of the half off a goal from sophomore Danielle Andreula, her seventh of the season.
However, it only took 42 seconds for the Profs to regain the lead in the second half, a score that would last until 15 minutes left in the game. Hatch was able to score off a deflection from Andruela, changing the entire momentum of the game. For the rest of the half, the Lions were able to hold off Rowan, particularly because of sophomore goalie Kelly Schlupp.
In sudden death overtime, the teams both fought hard until the last two minutes, when after being awarded a corner, senior Erin Healy was able to deflect her classmate Erin Waller’s shot into the net for the game-winning goal. The great crowd, which was on hand for the game, went crazy, as the entire team rushed onto the field to celebrate.
Coach Sharon Pfluger was just as happy.
“It was a very exciting game,” Pfluger said. “At any point, this game could have went either way. I’m proud of my girls for fighting back. I felt they showed a lot of character and a lot of poise in the tight situations. It was a great game for everyone involved, and both teams should feel proud.”
The Lions received a bye in the first round of the NCAA tournament playoffs and will take on either SUNY New Paltz or Keene State during the second round on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. at Lions Stadium. The College was chosen to host the second and third rounds of tournament, and this is the team’s 31st time qualifying for it.