In another disappointing outcome, the Montclair State University field hockey team suffered a narrow 2-0 defeat at home against Franklin & Marshall College.
With the loss, the rough start to the 2022 season continues for the Red Hawks and they are now 0-4 while the Diplomats moved to 3-1.
The Diplomats showcased their skills and just how tough of a defense they are as they made it very challenging for the Red Hawks to find any openings.
The Red Hawks should never be satisfied with a loss and they aren’t. However, senior goalkeeper Lauren Pickul is happy with the way Montclair State fought.
“I think it’s definitely disappointing because it was such a good team,” Pickul said. “It almost hurts more than getting killed by one of these teams because we were in it for so much of the game. I was really impressed with our mentality going into it coming off of a few losses, against a really good team, we didn’t just roll over. “
Constantly running in transition were the Diplomats. It seemed like with any breakaway chance they had, they were sending long passes down the field while the Red Hawks weren’t able to do the same.
“They’re a very good team,” Pickul said. “I think that one thing that they were doing was they were sending a lot of big balls down to the defensive circle and they also had really strong block tackles. So some of the ways that we’re used to playing wasn’t working against them, but I think in the future we need to be able to adapt a little bit better.”
When playing great teams, you may be forced to leave your comfort zone and that is what happened. The Red Hawks will need to learn from their mistakes and continue to work hard if they want to be able to adapt as Pickul said.
“I think that moving forward we just need to keep working and keep fixing the things that we see we are doing wrong,” Pickul said. “And going forward, realizing that we still need to go farther because we’re not winning these games. And what we’re doing at practice, we need to keep working harder than we are or else we’re not going to get any farther.”
Montclair State head coach Eileen O’Reilly gave her thoughts on the outcome.
“You know I’m disappointed with the outcome,” O’Reilly said. “Expectations with our program and the potential are always to win but I think some bright spots, we battled hard in the first half. We followed the game plan in a lot of ways in the first half and the things that we focused on at practice like connection and stronger communication [made] a big difference for us. The next step for us is figuring out a way to sustain that in the third and fourth quarter.”
O’Reilly gave the Diplomats their credit but believed her squad could have gotten the job done.
“They are a solid team, they are a talented team, they are a beatable team,” O’Reilly said. “They played well, they have some talented players. The things that they did that made it difficult were they used a lot of variety in their transition to attack.”
O’Reilly also talked about how she would like to see the Red Hawks incorporate other variables into their attack much like the Diplomats were.
“They had somewhere they used big hits to transition the ball down the field,” O’Reilly said. “They were using aerials. They made it hard for us because they always kept us on our toes and we’re going to take a page from their book and try to do some of those things to help us in our upcoming games.”
Next up for the Red Hawks is Vassar College on Sept. 14. in what will be the third of a current five-game home stand. They will look for that elusive first win.