Following the upset 3-2 loss against Kean University last Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Montclair State University field hockey team reflected on the loss and came back with a 2-0 win against the Stockton University Ospreys.
This game was controlled the majority of the time by the Red Hawks and showed that they are coming back to their usual winning ways. They started off their win in the first half with a hard-fought goal by junior midfielder Carlie Van Tassel. Throughout the first half, Stockton found no answers for Montclair State’s lethal attack.
The few times Stockton was able to get up the field and get a shot off, senior goalkeeper Lauren Pickul put things to an end and kept things afloat for the Red Hawks. Pickul picked things up after halftime and made sure they got nowhere near the net in the second half.
“The first half they were playing a bit more dominant,” Pickul said. “But in the second half they didn’t even get a shot and they only had one defensive corner. We made really good adjustments at halftime.”
A shutout win at home feels good but with it being Senior Day makes this day a memorable one. The team holds four seniors on its roster; Pickul, forward Linsey Champa, forward Lauren Zultowski and midfielder Lindsey Bicher. The embrace from these seniors and the team in general was heartwarming for debut goal-scorer Alexa Antonelli. The freshman midfielder scored the second goal four minutes into the second half and emotions were high.
“I was very excited because it was my first collegiate goal,” Antonelli said. “The feeling of having your teammates run up to you after you score, you can’t even put it into words.”
As much as this is a core memory for her in this team, she highlighted the importance of her teammates for her first goal and their bounce-back win. Pickul being a core part of this team in the defense and also a senior veteran, felt the love in the air during the Senior Day game after the win.
“It was really exciting because it was fun to play all together with this group,” Pickul said. “Having a win on Senior Day, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Everyone from the freshmen to the seniors played really well together.”
Pickul reflected on her four years and what has meant the most. She said this year has been the most rollercoaster-like year with emotions, games and with her team in general.
“This is a really good year and we’re all working really well together,” Pickul said. “We all have really high expectations for ourselves and what we can do. It’s my last year so I’m trying to leave it all out on the field.”
After this win in the books for the field hockey team and Antonelli scoring her debut goal, there’s a pause for celebration, but she said this team still has a goal in mind for the remainder of the season.
“I hope to score more goals and we’re definitely setting ourselves up for success these next few weeks in the [season],” Antonelli said. “With this win, it will definitely propel us towards another win streak.”
Antonelli is only starting to look stronger out on the field. On the memorable senior day game, she kept on emphasizing the team and what it means to keep on pushing beyond boundaries that many times they think are unbreakable.
“I think we can make it a lot further than we think,” Antonelli said. “[The New Jersey Athletic Conference] is such a competitive conference so I think going into each game that’s for the NJAC with the mindset that we’re playing to win, that will help us get through it for the rest of the season.”
Their next game will be at home on Oct. 12 against Gwynedd Mercy University.