Field hockey team earns first loss and first strike in NJAC playoffs

Photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics.


On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Ramapo College field hockey team hosted the No. 3 team in the South Atlantic division, Kean University. With only five games remaining in the regular season, Ramapo has a clear path to the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs, needing to beat at least three of their remaining contests against NJAC teams. Unfortunately, it was a heartbreaking loss to Kean on Tuesday, in Union, N.J. as the Roadrunners fell 2-0. 

Kean got on the board early courtesy of a goal from Lia DiPiazza five minutes and 40 seconds into action, and added another off the stick of Ja’Carra Jackson off a corner in the second period. Kean was able to dominate possession in the second half after grabbing a two-goal lead, not letting Ramapo register a shot in the final 30 minutes of gameplay. 

Freshman goalie Michelle Kukan played an outstanding 60 minutes, tallying a season and career high of 12 saves. Ramapo was only able to get seven shots off the entire game, with just four of those shots being on goal. Additionally, only two of those shots came in the second half.

Despite the loss, it was not a completely lost week for Ramapo. There were bigger off the field storylines. For the month of September, Ramapo had a clean sweep of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) monthly awards.

Freshman goalie Michelle Kukan earned the honors of Rookie of the Month, due in part to posting five shutouts on the season. “I am honored to be rookie of the month. I couldn’t have done it without my coach, my team, and especially my defense,” Kukan said in response to winning the award. 

Next up was junior forward Victoria Docherty, who won the ECAC Offensive Player of the Month award. She was able to accomplish this with a career high of 18 goals, leading the charge for the Roadrunners offense and playing a large role in the immense success the team has found this season. 

Lastly was junior defender Emily Ricciardi, who took home the ECAC Defensive Player of the Month award. Much like Kukan, Ricciardi has been key in slowing down opposing offenses and putting the team in a position to win on a game-to-game basis. 

Not only was it a successful month in terms of awards for Ramapo, it was also a record-setting start to the season. Dockerty, with her aforementioned 18 goals, has already set the single-season goal record for the Roadrunners with five games remaining. In addition to this, senior Mariah Tovar set a new assist record, tallying 11. The team is also having its best start in program history. The team’s nine wins — with five games remaining —  already matches the second most wins in program history, and is their most wins since 2011.

Ramapo’s next game will be another good one, as the team hosts sixth-ranked Rowan University on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. at the Athletic Center Turf in Mahwah, N.J.