Red Hawks Head into NJAC Playoffs with Momentum

By Sean McChesney, Staff Writer

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The Red Hawks will face off against Rowan University in the NJAC Tournament for the second consecutive year. Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics
The Red Hawks will face off against Rowan University in the NJAC Tournament for the second consecutive year.
Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics

With the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs on the horizon, the Montclair State women’s lacrosse team ended their regular season on April 30 with a 17-4 win on the road against Rutgers-Camden, finishing with a four-game winning streak.

The Scarlet Raptors struck first five minutes into the contest when senior midfielder Breanna Heifet scored her first goal of the afternoon to give Rutgers-Camden a 1-0 lead. The Red Hawks responded one minute later when junior midfielder Francesa Verrone scored to tie the game 1-1.

The Red Hawks offense emerged with four consecutive goals thanks to senior attacker Alexa DiPiero, back-to-back goals from junior attacker Lindsay Lare and a goal from junior attacker Aviana Paraggio.

With 16:34 left in the half, the Red Hawks were rolling with a 5-1 lead. Rutgers-Camden stopped the Red Hawks scoring streak with a goal from junior midfielder Cecilia Gross, and the Scarlet-Raptors cut the deficit to 5-2.

The Red Hawks would not let the momentum fade as they scored six unanswered goals to end the half, with back-to-back goals from senior captain and midfielder Kasey Maguire, senior attacker Serena Hitchings, freshman attacker Jessica Andruela, sophomore midfielder Chelsea Orban and Paraggio, her second of the day. Montclair State was in full control with a 11-2 lead at halftime.

The Red Hawks outshot the Scarlet-Raptors on net 14-5, and the Red Hawks forced 17 first-half turnovers.

The Red Hawks’ momentum did not stop in the second half. They opened the half with five unanswered goals for a dominating 16-2 lead, thanks to two goals by Verrone, followed by goals from Hitchins, Lare and senior defender Nicole Francis.

Following one last goal from Red Hawks senior captain and midfielder Kara Crampton, the Scarlet-Raptors added two more goals to their total at the end of the second half, cutting the score to 17-4.

The Red Hawks finished with a dominating 17-4 win over the Scarlet-Raptors.

Lare and Verrone both had a productive afternoon with three goals in the game, and the Red Hawks outshot the Scarlet-Raptors 22-11.

With their most recent win, the Red Hawks finished the year with a record of 11-5 and 4-2 in the conference. The Red Hawks will look to strive one step closer to a conference championship when they travel to Glasboro for the NJAC semifinals on May 4 to battle NJAC rival Rowan University in a rematch of last year’s NJAC semifinals at 7 p.m.

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