No. 1 Rowan field hockey suffered a heartbreaking first loss to No. 3 Salisbury University (14-1) tonight 3-2, dropping them to 14-1 on the year.
“We played hard,” Head Coach Michelle Andre said. “We knew it was going to be that type of game … knew it was going to be a one goal game and most likely a back and forth game.”
Early on, the teams went back and forth. An early goal from freshman forward McKenna Horner, her first of three, put Salisbury up 1-0. A minute later Rowan sophomore forward Julia Patrone tied the game for the Profs, leading the team with her 17th goal of the season.
With 8:20 remaining in the third quarter, midfielder Kristiina Castagnola put the Profs ahead 2-1 with her 15th goal of the season. After Rowan had two early chances to score in the fourth, Horner tied the game with 12:51 remaining.
Horner completed her hat trick with 35.7 seconds remaining to cap off a back and forth game that looked to be going into overtime.
“I’d rather get exposed in a game like this and fix those things so when the time comes we’re ready for it again,” Coach Andre said.
“I think it really sucks,” Patrone added. “You go into a game thinking that you’re gonna win but some team has to lose at the end of the day and it just happened to be us tonight … we’ll learn from it.”
This loss comes just one day after Rowan was named the No. 1 team in the NCAA Division III rankings, which is something that may have added some extra pressure.
“Yeah I think it’s a big deal,” Patrone said. “It was our home field so we had everything to lose tonight. We beat them last year on their home field and they just came and returned the favor.”
The Profs will look to bounce back in their three regular season games remaining before the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament, starting Saturday against Montclair State University.
“We’ll be ready,” Coach Andre said. “There’s some things that we traditionally do but we didn’t do tonight.”
“It was a big learning lesson for us,” Patrone added. “I think that’s the biggest thing we can do is just learn from that loss … I think our biggest thing is just to leave this today and fix everything tomorrow during practice and the rest of the week.”
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