The Rowan University field hockey team defeated No. 8 Kean University 4-1 on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Alumni Stadium in Union, New Jersey. The Profs have now extended their winning streak to 14 victories, putting their undefeated record at 14-0 and 4-0 in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play.
It was a slow start for the Profs, as it was scoreless until the beginning of the second quarter when the star of the game, freshman back Tess Herman, scored the first goal of the day.
“It was amazing,” Herman said. “I mean especially to have the first goal of the game, it was an amazing feeling. I mean it was also an awarded angle, so having my team there to celebrate with me was great.”
Going into the second half it was still 1-0 Profs, but Rowan would use the next quarter to extend their lead. First, captain Kristiina Castagnola found the back of the net, then Herman put up another goal to make the match 3-0. For Castagnola, it felt great starting the run for the Profs in the second half and to have the team up by three with only 15 minutes to go.
“It was great,” Castagnola said. “Playing against an NJAC opponent allows a great game and a great win. Overall a great team effort…I think we just said play our game and the rest will follow and I think we really stuck to that. Not letting things mess us up allows us to mess up.”
Despite the fact the Cougars were able to net a goal, it didn’t faze the Profs at all as they answered back with one last goal of their own.
Overall, it was a team effort to pick up this key victory. X-factors such as senior Bridget Guinan, who had a major assist to Castagnola in the second quarter, gave the Profs control of the game.
“I think after that moment it really built up our energy and everything,” Guinan said. “Then going along felt more continent and started taking along more goals after that to win.”
The team’s second top-10 win was made even more significant by Middlebury College being handed their first loss of the year over the weekend, which was the only other team ahead of them in the national rankings. This propelled Rowan field hockey to No. 1 in the nation.
This makes the victory over No. 8 Kean one of the biggest victories of the season for the Profs, but the big matchups don’t stop there. Rowan is set to play another difficult opponent next in No. 3 Salisbury University, and Head Coach Michelle Andre knows it is going to be a battle.
“It is going to be a great game,” Coach Andre said. “You are talking about two really high-level fast teams and two seasoned teams. They have a large group of seniors. It’s gonna be a smarter battle. As far as experience in the field.”
While experience will be a contributor in the matchup, the Kean game is a perfect example of how the play of the Profs’ lowerclassmen will be another deciding factor in the game.
The clash of Division III’s last two undefeated field hockey teams is set to take place on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. on Rowan’s home turf, Coach Richard Wackar Stadium. To honor the 50-year anniversary of Title-IX, students who attend this key matchup for Rowan women’s sports will receive a Title-IX t-shirt.
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