The Roadrunners were looking to build on last week’s 2-1 overtime win against New Jersey City University when they took on The College of New Jersey on Saturday in an important NJAC conference game. The Roadrunners lost the game 2-0 to the 19th nationally ranked Lions.
“We just really gave it our all, we knew what we had to do: play wide, not play through the middle. They’re strong there, and then you just have to defend their long ball,” said senior captain Brittany Mancini. “So, we just research what they did and kind of tried to defend them well.”
The Roadrunners fell behind 12:33 into the game when TCNJ sophomore forward Christine Levering scored her ninth goal of the season off a deflection. It was the only goal of the first half from either team. Senior forward Korrie Harkins tallied her fourth goal of the season at about 11 minutes into the second half with assists by senior Jordan Downs and freshman Elizabeth Thoresen to give the Lions the 2-0 lead.
The Roadrunners could not get anything going offensively as they were outshot 28-5, but displayed very strong defense in their own end.
TCNJ was not able to run up the score as they have against other NJAC opponents including a 4-0 win against Rutgers-Camden on Oct. 16 and a 6-0 win over NJCU on Oct. 11.
Postgame, junior captain Nicole Ninomiya said that the team had to put a lot of pressure on TCNJ so that their confidence would be lowered.
“I think we just kept the pressure up and we didn’t let them have so much confidence on the ball,” said Ninomiya. “We just didn’t give up once they scored on us and we just kept going and trying to score.”
Freshman goalie Jessica Cusick finished the game with 14 saves for the Roadrunners, while senior goalie Kendra Griffith made four saves for the Lions.
With the win over the Roadrunners, the Lions improve to 12-2 on the season and 6-1 in NJAC conference play. Meanwhile, the Roadrunners will focus their attention squarely on two NJAC conference games in their final three games of the regular season against Montclair State University and Kean University.
After dropping to 4-8-2 on the season and 2-5 in NJAC conference play, the Roadrunners will want to build on their strong defensive play and improve on the offensive side of the ball.
“We’re just going to probably watch a game, see how they play and then try and counter what they do to defend them again,” said Mancini. “It’s all about defending really and in this tournament, it’s a really hard tournament.”
The Roadrunners will host the Montclair State University Red Hawks in a very competitive NJAC conference game on Wednesday Oct. 22 at the Athletic Center. The Roadrunners will be looking to rebound from this tough loss by creating more scoring opportunities on offense, and by keeping up their strong defensive play.