As the clouds dispersed across the sky and blocked out the sun, the setting of the game was bound to become eerie and vicious. The bleachers were suffused with red and white T-shirts for the home Montclair State University Red Hawks and blue and yellow long sleeves for the visiting team, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) Lions.
What was a competitive match for the players also became an aggressive environment for the parents. Montclair State parents shouted at the referees, “She’s faking it!” and “Get her out!” after many fouls were called on the Red Hawks in favor of the Lions during play.
Some parents were thrown out. For the first time this season, parents were told they could not be near the fence and had to sit in the bleachers.
Father of Montclair State’s field hockey player, Emily Lubach, was infuriated after receiving orders from security to move to the bleachers and stay away from the fence.
“I come and watch my daughter from the fence every game,” said Lubach. “I barely speak and don’t bother anyone, and they never told me this before.”
In fact, many of the fouls that were called toward Montclair State caused a huge dilemma for the Red Hawks. Senior Kaitlyn Struss received her first warning in the first half, which required her to sit out for two minutes. Although two minutes may not seem like a very long time in a 35-minute half, goals can rapidly be scored within seconds of play.
At the 3:39 mark, TCNJ’s Tori Tiefenthaler scored the leading goal by a tip on the left wing corner. Kayla Peterson received an assist from her shot during the penalty corner for the Lions, and Tiefanthaler scored her ninth goal of the season.
The Red Hawks returned back to the center of the field, hoping to add a kick to the offense and more determination on the defense’s end. However, the fifth-ranked Lions refused to budge only allowing four shots for Montclair State the entire game.
The Lions extended their lead in the first quarter after senior Elizabeth Morrison sealed another goal, unassisted, at the 16:20 mark. Morrison dribbled through the right line of the circle and dodged the Red Hawks’ defense to tuck in a shot and strengthen TCNJ’s lead to 2-0.
Hope filled the air in the second quarter of the game that Montclair State would receive less calls in favor of the Lions.
Instead, the Red Hawks were given more sour calls, as key player Kaitlyn Struss received her second foul of the game and then had to sit out for five minutes of play.
Just when the Red Hawks thought they would catch their big break after receiving a penalty stroke from a loose ball, the team was blocked by Lions goalkeeper Christina Fabiano. Fabiano rejected freshman Kaitlyn Prestinari’s shot in a one-on-one match. The huge opportunity became an unfortunate what if for the Red Hawks.
TCNJ’s Morrison stayed hot in the second half, scoring the third goal of the game and her ninth of the season at the 63:25 mark. Morrison obtained an assisted shot from Cayla Andrews and tipped it in for the Lions, closing in their fourth consecutive win.
Although the Montclair State field hockey team is no longer unbeaten (12-1), the team looks to get back on their winning streak and improve on their previous mistakes.
“There’s a lot to change every game and to work on at practice,” said senior Meghan Mollahan. “Biggest thing is communication. It is how we play the sport we play.”
The Red Hawks will face their next opponent on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. against Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey.