The trumpets were playing loud and often at Montclair State University Soccer Park as the Montclair State women’s soccer team defeated John Jay College 8-0.
The win moves the Red Hawks to 11-0 and they have finished the regular season with a perfect record of 8-0 against non-conference opponents. From this point forward, the squad will have the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opponents to look forward to.
It was a historic performance for the program as junior attacking midfielder Aileen Cahill and freshman forward Kylie Prendergast both netted hat tricks, making it the first duo in Montclair State history to do so in the same match. And doing so in the rain makes it even more special.
With the legendary performance, Cahill is now tied for the most goals in the NJAC with nine and Prendergast is not far behind with seven. The momentum from both players and the team overall has not slowed down one bit.
Becoming the first duo ever to each score three goals in the same game meant a lot to Prendergast, especially accomplishing it with Cahill.
“When I got a brace I wasn’t really going for a hat trick, you know I think that’s what helps, just staying relaxed,” Prendergast said. “But it’s really nice to get a hat trick with [Cahill], she’s always been like a bigger sister to me so that was fun to do it with her especially.”
Montclair State’s ferocious press has been dominant all season and once again had the opposition playing defense way more than they wanted to. The Red Hawks were winning possession back almost immediately after losing it, which set them up with some great chances throughout the game.
Cahill spoke about just how important their pressing tactics have been this season.
“I think that’s one thing that [head coach] [Patrick Naughter] really emphasized this season,” Cahill said. “Just press them and try to get them to turn the ball over. Everybody presses together and it’s been working out really well for us. Then we get it and can go forward.”
Naughter believes this team is special and wants his players to get the credit.
“I think they got us undefeated right now, they’ve been awesome,” Naughter said. “It feels like every time we challenge them with something that they respond really well. And today it was okay, it’s 2-0 at halftime, we always like to say 2-0, the next goal wins and on Saturday we got up 2-0, we gave one back and that kinda left a bad taste in our mouth. We just [kind of] at halftime said not today.”
Naughter acknowledged after the game that what they are doing on the field is far from easy, cool and even fun, but being undefeated is.
“My wife said to me, ‘What are you doing different this year?’” Naughter said. “And I said, ‘I’m not doing anything different, they’re doing it different.’ These guys have been unbelievable. The way we’re asking them to play isn’t easy, it isn’t cool, it isn’t fun but you know, 11-0 is cool and 11-0 is fun.”
Ahead for the Red Hawks is a massive matchup against NJAC opponent Rowan University on Saturday at 1 p.m. Last season, it was the Profs that eliminated the Red Hawks from the NJAC Tournament. Hence, the matchup will undoubtedly be the biggest test so far this season.