The Red Hawks triumphed in a thrilling battle against Rutgers-Camden on Saturday afternoon. It was neck and neck for most of the matchup, but Montclair State University ended up winning by a final score of 1-0.
From the opening moments of the game, the Red Hawks did a great job of applying constant pressure on Rutgers-Camden. On the side, Montclair State’s attack always found ways to create and put a plethora of shots on goal.
With 33:22 remaining on the clock in the first half, graduate student Kimberly Campbell went down with an injury which would end her afternoon.
“She went in for a tackle and then she was unavailable for the rest of the day,” Head coach Patrick Naughter said. “I am sure the sports medicine staff will take a look and evaluate her. That is where my thoughts and prayers are gonna be, that she is gonna be able to get back because she deserves to play these last few games of her career and we are a better team when she is on the field.”
The Red Hawks continued to play on with high intensity, displaying great ball movement on the field. Everything was going right for them and all that was left for them to do was to put a goal on the board. The score was tied at 0 draw by the end of the first half, and Montclair State was looking to change that heading into the back half of this one.
The Red Hawks looked more motivated than ever to win this game in the second half but as it went on frustration began to surmount against them. The refs were missing some important calls as Rutgers-Camden played with more aggression toward Montclair State, knocking the women to the floor.
“The refs are not going to decide the outcome of the game,” Naughter said. “That is uncontrollable, and we know the controllable is our quality and our effort. My frustration came from the fact that I thought we were overthinking things. At halftime I reminded them that they have been playing this game since they were in elementary school. I wanted them to just kick the ball around like when they were kids and have fun and if they do that, then the results will take care of themselves”.
The turning point of the matchup came when Senior Aileen Cahill scored her eighth goal of the season.
“It was great and it was icing on the brussel sprouts in the net,” Cahill said. “It was pretty sick.”
This was all the momentum that the Red Hawks needed as they improved their record to 11-2-2. They are looking to finish the regular season strong heading into their last matchup of the year at Kean University.
“We have to go 1-0 next game,” Naughter said. “We want to go to the NCAA tournament and we want to go into the NJAC tournament as strong as possible to win that thing. Right now we need to put together a resume that is impeccable and we are well on our way to that.”
What makes the team so successful right now is their desire to win, and there is a lot more of that to come heading into the NJAC tournament next weekend.