The Montclair State University field hockey team is red-hot right now and cannot be stopped. The team won an exciting overtime match against Stevens Institute of Technology with a final score of 2-1.
The Red Hawks have now won five straight games after losing their first four games of the season and their record has improved after their recent wins by a total of 50%.
The Ducks were winning the first three quarters and had the only goal of the game over the Red Hawks at that point. Senior goalkeeper Lauren Pickul explained how the team stayed focused during the game.
“I think that when we were down, we still just focused on the next play,” Pickul said. “That was our immediate thought and just trying to win it back because we knew that we could and just building off momentum. Just moving down the field and having the mentality that we were going to win and we knew that would come if we keep pressing and pushing forward and that eventually, it would go our way.”
A big part of winning is making sure that everyone is in the right mindset at all times. The plays may not always go your way, but if you do not have complete and total faith in your team, then you severely hurt the chances of winning.
Even when the Red Hawks were losing, they were still relentless and had numerous players attempt goals. Pickul is confident in their ability to continue growing their winning streak going forward into the season.
“I think that one thing about us is we have a lot of different people who can shoot the ball,” Pickul said. “Whether it’s forwards or midfielders and we have a good rotation within the forwards of a cycle of who’s in and I know from a goalie perspective that it’s very challenging to figure out marks and who’s in, and if there’s a constant rotation of the forwards so having a lot of people who can shoot the ball or go in on pads to try and get it in the goal is really dangerous and hard to defend for other teams.”
Similar to most sports, one player cannot be relied on to do everything whether it be on offense or defense. If you ask one player to do too much, then the opposing teams will know what to expect and how to defend it. Luckily, the players and coaches on the Montclair State field hockey team know to not do this during a game.
However, the Montclair State field hockey team refused to give up and tied the game during the fourth quarter by senior captain Linsey Champa. She describes how it felt to get her first goal of the season.
“It was incredible,” Champa said. “My first goal this season and I’m a senior. I was really looking forward to putting the ball back in the net and feeling the rush and momentum from my teammates after I scored was the most incredible feeling. I can’t explain it, it’s like a rush, and I want to experience it every game.”
In every sport, scoring points against the other team creates an atmosphere of determination to win. This feeling is felt especially by junior forward Carlie Van Tassel, who played a penalty stroke in overtime perfectly to seal the victory for the Red Hawks.
The assistant coach for the Red Hawks, Sarah Pasternak, shared her thoughts on how the players are feeling now that they are on a five-game winning streak.
“They are feeling on top of the world,” Pasternak said. “Especially ready to go into the conference games. I think they couldn’t be in a better spot to head into the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) games that we start on Saturday. Literally could not be in a better spot.”
For their first NJAC face-off the Red Hawks traveled to Mahwah, NJ to play the Ramapo College Roadrunners on Saturday, Oct. 1st. They defeated them 2-1 once again.