Montclair State University field hockey fell to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in a tough battle on Saturday, Oct. 19. It was a battle of the goalies, Nicole Andirani of Montclair State and Maddie Beaumont of TCNJ. Andriani knew she would have her hands full as TCNJ entered as the top offense in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
The offense was off to a rough start for the Red Hawks as they could not get a shot on goal the entire first quarter.
“To improve our offense we have to do a better job keeping possession of the ball when we take a restart,” head coach Eileen O’Reilly said. “Today we had a lot of restarts in our defensive end. While we had possession of the ball initially, we would give it away [by] either passing it on to the other team or reception of the ball wasn’t clean and they were able to steal it from us.”
Throughout the entire game, the Red Hawks had missed plays and cues that led to TCNJ being able to control the ball. In the first half alone TCNJ outnumbered Montclair State’s corners 15-1. The Red Hawks defense still stood tall, not allowing a goal in the first quarter.
Montclair State’s offense was never able to pick back up as they went with no shots on goal through three straight quarters. TCNJ on the other hand, stayed aggressive and rallied off seven shots in the second quarter. Andriani played tough, as she has been all year, even when the Lions had a penalty stroke in minute 23. Senior forward Tori Tiefenthaler of TCNJ was the one who took the strike as she had nine shots, a game high for her.
“She was going one way and the girl shot the other way and [Andriani] was still able to get a piece of it which was sick,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly was really proud of Andriani’s saves and her ability to hold the top offense all game. That was until the minute 27 of play, which saw the first and only goal of the game. An assist by senior forward/midfielder Kayla Peterson to teammate senior forward Cayla Andrews gave Andrews her first goal of the season, and gave TCNJ a 1-0 lead.
Montclair State was unable to convert on their lone corner of the first half as time expired.
Within the first 10 minutes of the third quarter, TCNJ rattled off four shots and four penalty corners, all unsuccessful as the brick wall of Andriani held tough throughout the rest of the game. With no help from the offense, it did not make a difference as the pressure stayed on Andriani and the defense.
Sophomore midfielder/defender Zoe Musick and sophomore forward/midfielder Katelyn Osterlind were of assistance as they were able to hold TCNJ to only two shots, all of which were on target in the third. The quarter ended with very little action.
Montclair State was able to find some excitement in the fourth quarter with two back-to-back shots on goal by senior forward/midfielders Maddie Freeman and Kelly Watson. Still, nothing broke through as Beaumont continued to let nothing pass her. In the final moments of the game, Osterlind struck one more shot for Montclair State, but it would not make it into the goal.
The game concluded minutes after and the Red Hawks found themselves now on a three game losing streak, their longest all year.