The Montclair State women’s ice hockey team lost a close one to the West Virginia Lady Mountaineer’s this past Saturday. With the final score at 10-8, Red Hawks leading goal scorer and forward, Paula Bush, was out with an injury. They were down two players the whole game.
Assistant coach David Solomon felt sure that having more girls in the game, especially Bush, would have made all the difference.
“We were tired and you could see that,” Solomon said. “We don’t have a large bench to begin with and that extra two would’ve helped, especially since one of them is our leading goal scorer.”
Toward the beginning of the game, Montclair State was off to a great start, going up 2-0. Two back-to-back goals and a couple of saves by goaltender Amber Astalos seemed to set an ambitious mood for the Red Hawks. Four goals later, however, and the Mountaineers were up to 4-2.
Montclair State forward, Hope McGivney, was able to net a goal herself and by the end of the first period, the score was then 5-4 West Virginia. McGivney played a strong game, focusing on her offense the entire time. Defenseman Marlisa Falduto also played well, staying on the puck and giving West Virginia a lot of trouble.
The second period started off with a West Virginia goal, but Montclair State stood strong offensively and scored two goals while Astalos made some great saves in net. Assistant coach David Solomon was proud of the girls.
“We managed the puck better and everyone did their job,” Solomon said.
Solomon felt the team played well in the second period even though the Red Hawks could not score until the middle of the period. Their offense was able to control the puck throughout the second.
Going into the third period West Virginia lead 7-6. That did not last long as forward Emily Struble netted a shot a little over a minute into the period for the Red Hawks. Shortly after Astalos made another great save.
West Virginia would go on to score three of the next four goals, making it 10-8 with five minutes remaining. At that time Montclair State had two power plays, but could not convert as time was winding down.
Although the Red Hawks did force a couple of shots at the end, none of them broke through. Coach Solomon admits that the team was a bit tired and short on players, but believes they have a lot to take from this experience.
“We didn’t play our best, but we learned a lot being the players we are,” Solomon said. “You could just tell our team was exhausted.”
Coach Solomon was positive about the game and made it known that it came down to a few unfortunate circumstances. Only having a few subs to put in the game made it hard for Montclair State to keep up with the Lady Mountaineers.
After this match, the record for the Red Hawks will stand at 2-9 while the West Virginia Mountaineers will have 4-8. Montclair State’s next game is against Villanova who sits at 7-4. The Red Hawks are looking forward to bouncing back the next time they hit the ice.