The Rowan University Field Hockey team shocked all of Division III Athletics by upsetting the No. 2 school in the division, Johns Hopkins University, on their home turf with a final score of 2-1 on Saturday, Sept. 10.
The Profs went into the game as underdogs, as they were ranked No. 3 in the country– right below their opponents. Last season, Rowan fell 3-2 to Johns Hopkins at home in Richard Wackar Stadium. Head Coach Michelle Andre knew that she had to change the game plan up from last season for this revenge game.
“It was really about us containing in our full-court press…doing some things to force transition and also kind of solidifying our defense,” Coach Andre said. “[We were] making sure we were strong in our defensive dynamic, and especially on our set plays in our defensive corners.”
Applying full-court press was a key factor in why the Profs won. All game long, the Profs were knocking on Johns Hopkins’ door when graduate student and captain, Kristiina Castagnola, started the goal show in the third period. She scored the first goal of the game on the board and granted Rowan the 1-0 lead. Teammate Julia Patrone added the game-securing goal in the fourth, which is all that was needed for the Prof’s victory.
“I mean, it was exhilarating,” Castagnola said. “It was really awesome. Looking around after all that hard work in the third quarter just trying to get into the next we’re knocking on the door. Not just me, but everyone else on the team who’s getting shots from the cage. So it was awesome. Just finally get to see the payoff and all that work.”
Rowan put in a ton of hard work in practice to beat their opponents every week and on Saturday night, they got to see how it feels when their hard work pays off.
“Winning against Johns Hopkins was an amazing feeling, it was one of the biggest rivals we have this season other than our other NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference] competitors,” senior goalie Abby Hainsworth said. “They put a lot of really good shots on goal, so being able to help the team in a key moment kind of shutdown was a really key moment.”
Everyone on the team was thrilled to win and wants to help this winning streak continue in any type of capacity. Hainsworth and the rest of the team know that this was a great win but they can not look at any other opponent differently.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that we were able to take out the number two team but we also need to remember that we should not let up against any team, you know just because we beat a really top-seeded team,” Hainsworth said. “It doesn’t mean you can not take a team that is not as serious. So we have been making sure to keep the intensity against any team that we play, so we can work our hardest to try to get there.”
The Profs will look at their match against Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, Sept. 14, as the team looks to keep their undefeated record alive.
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