Bridget Guinan chases down a ball in a game against Stockton earlier this year. Photo/ Multimedia Editor Dyone Payne.

As the Rowan Field Hockey program made the 2 1/2-hour trip to northern New Jersey to visit the Roadrunners of Ramapo College, the team was met with a surprising and purposeful opponent. One that could’ve, should’ve, would’ve won the game.

But if this game taught you anything about the program, it must be the resiliency of this unit. 

Saturday’s matchup against the Roadrunners of Ramapo College felt quite reminiscent of the defeat against Kean University.

Miscommunication, defensive struggles and limited scoring opportunities have led to recent first-quarter issues. However, Head Coach Michelle Andre disagrees that the problems occurring early on in recent games are short of major concern. 

“I think it is more so we are waiting to see what the team does before we respond on the field,” Andre said. “If we change our mindset going into the game where we can control and trust what we’ve been practicing, it shouldn’t be an issue going forward.”

In the Prof’s sweat drenched, gutted-out victory, the team displayed an unusual performance.

For the third straight game, the opposing teams have managed to find the cage first. Serious trouble rose when Ramapo took a commanding 3-0 advantage within the first ten minutes of the game.  

“We got a little bit nervous at the beginning of the game,” said sophomore Bridget Guinan. “We were panicking a little bit, and then we settled down. Everyone just got together.”  

Endless cheers from the bench and trust within one another are what sparked the improbable comeback, leading them to score their own three straight goals, taking the game to overtime. 

“We gained more and more composure throughout the game,” Andre said. “When we got to overtime, we had our backs up against the wall. But they really overcame some adversity and I saw them rally around the team and rally around each other, and the energy that was coming off the bench was an advantage for us.” 

Guinan, who scored the game-winner in double overtime and made 14 goals, along with seven assists for the season, had a humble response when asked how she felt winning it for her team.

“It felt good, I guess,” said Guinan. 

Another great contribution came from senior goalkeeper Morgan Novak. After the defense allowed a season-high 29 shots with 23 on target, once again, the wonder of Novak’s abilities prevented the Profs from suffering a crucial and blow-out game, by recording a career-high in saves (20). 

The Prof’s journey to a consecutive NJAC title will not get any easier. The Brown and Gold visit #2 nationally ranked TCNJ on Tuesday and then host #20 Montclair State University on Senior Night on Oct. 26.

With an overall record of 11-3*, 3-2* in NJAC play, the stakes continue to be high for the Brown and Gold. 

Update: Rowan falls to #2 TCNJ 2-1.

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