By Christine Houghton
The Lions collected a win against Rowan University, 2-1 on Oct. 24, securing their place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference semifinals. The Lions now advance to 11-1-1 overall.
Scoring off a corner pass about halfway through the first half, Rowan had an early lead that only lasted late into the second half.
The team’s defense held strong, holding Rowan to only three shots — Rowan’s single point was the only shot on goal.
In the 68th minute, junior defenseman Jen McGrogan sent a long pass in toward the goal. Junior midfielder Joriam Rivera kicked it in for a game-tying point, earning her fourth career goal.
Shortly after in the 87th minute, senior midfielder Arielle Curtis sent a pass to freshman forward/midfielder Nikki Butler for a goal just over the head of Rowan’s goalkeeper to put the Lions up 2-1. This was Curtis’ second career assist and Butler’s sixth career goal.
Curtis, McGrogan, sophomore midfielder Faith Eichenour and sophomore forward Randi Smith led the charge against Rowan, dominating on both sides of the ball until the clock ran out.
The team’s offense maintained intensity on its side of the ball with 14 shots, two of which were successful goals.
Prior to the start of the game, Curtis, the team’s only senior, was acknowledged and celebrated as a part of senior night. Gold balloons spelling out “TCNJ” floated behind the team’s bench as the players fought through the first half and launched a crushing comeback late into the second.
With this win, the Lions now advance into the playoffs as the top seed in rankings. Their first playoff game will be in Lion’s Stadium against Montclair State University on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 6 p.m., as they compete for a spot in the NJAC finals.