Field hockey sours end of season with loss to Alvernia

The Ramapo College women’s field hockey team took to the turf for the final time this year, as they fell to No. 2 ranked Alvernia University in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship. The Roadrunners left it all out there on the field, but their efforts were not enough as Alvernia scraped by with a 1-0 victory.

The star of the game for Ramapo was without a doubt sophomore goalkeeper Michelle Kukan, who had to face 37 shots, 21 of which were shots on goal. Kukan recorded a career-high 20 saves, and her efforts were the main reason the game was close for all 60 minutes.

The game was scoreless for the first half, with Ramapo recording six first-half shots, and Alvernia recording 13. Halfway through the third quarter, Alvernia’s Hailey Miller broke the scoreless tie by sending one past Kukan, off an assist from Kathryn Palmer. 

Though Ramapo was unable to score a goal, they were able to make six total shots on goal, with three coming from captain Mariah Tovar. The main issue for the Roadrunners throughout the game is that Alvernia was able to maintain control of the ball, including outshooting Ramapo 12-0 in the third quarter.

Alvernia goalkeeper Lexi Boettcher recorded six saves on six opportunities, as her defense was able to keep the ball on Ramapo’s side of the field for the majority of the game. There were also many questionable calls from the referees in this one, as Alvernia was able to record 20 penalty corners compared to Ramapo’s mere six. 

It was a disappointing end to the season for the Roadrunners, who won the ECAC Championship last year. Ramapo will also say goodbye to a large part of their team, as 11 of the players on the roster are on track to graduate in the spring. 

“Once a Roadrunner, always a Roadrunner,” said senior Clare Nugent after the loss. “While the season didn’t end how we wanted, I’m proud of the other successes we had this year. Whether we were coming from behind to win or giving a ranked team a run for their money, we never gave up,” she continued.

“This group of seniors has grown this program to what it is today and it’s bittersweet to be leaving it behind,” Nugent said. 

After defeating Ramapo on Saturday, Alvernia lost the ECAC Championship Final to Kean University on Sunday by a final score of 3-1.

Photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics.