After a heartwarming ceremony in honor of the seniors on the women’s soccer team, Montclair State University was ready to take the field against the Ramapo Roadrunners. They were looking to put on a show for the fans and get the win for the school on Homecoming day.
The women’s team started out strong as they jumped out to an early lead within the first few moments of the game. Sophomore Julie baker opened up the scoring by crossing the ball into the net after it deflected off of a Ramapo defender. This gave the Red Hawks a big boost in confidence as they continued to apply pressure on Ramapo’s goalie, Makenna Tahbaz. Shots on goal began to pile up, but despite the overwhelming success, the score remained 1-0 heading into the half.
Ramapo’s defense was very solid considering they were under duress the entire first half and they needed to come out fired up getting their offense going if they wanted a chance to win the game. Unfortunately for them, things remained the same and only got worse from there on out for the Roadrunners.
Baker scored her second goal of the game and not long after she capped her wonderful day off with the hat trick. They were her first career collegiate goals and for it to be a hat trick made it even more special.
“They were my first career goals so it was really cool for them to be a hat trick,” Baker said.
Baker’s primary position is a defender but today she was playing up top as an attacking player which proved to be a great decision from Head Coach Patrick Naughter. As time went on, the Red Hawks just were too much for Ramapo, only getting sharper as the game progressed. Freshman Gianna Curci and senior Olivia Kedziora added their goals to the tally, making the final score of the game 5-0 Red Hawks.
Montclair State came into senior day with extra motivation after their draw against Stockton University according to Baker.
“Coming off of Wednesday’s tough draw, I think we were all super motivated to get back on a winning streak,” Baker said. “For us this win is viewed as another step and a great NJAC win that is getting us excited for next week.”
It was a massive performance for the Red Hawks and with it being senior day gave them even more motivation.
“Senior day was awesome,” Baker said. “We love our seniors and we can’t wait to see where they go after this. We also love playing at home a lot more than being on the road. It is great to be around all of our fans and we had a lot of parents here for senior day so I think that was really motivating for us today.”
Kedziora has had an up and down career at Montclair State largely due to injury so being a part of the team meant a lot to her. And on her big day, she got her first career goal with the program.
“I was a little nervous to take the kick but I stuck to my plan,” Kedziora said. “Same side and same pace and it went in so I’m happy.”
Montclair State played with high intensity and Head Coach Patrick Naughter believes their play showed it.
“I thought Wednesday night we were really good and took really good shots along with making very good decisions but they blocked them making great saves,” Naughter said. “Today, however, we got deflections into the net and we were the ones that caught the breaks. We earned the breaks though. I am not saying we got lucky. Overall I was happy that we ended up getting the results.”
It truly was a special day for the Montclair State women’s soccer team as it seemed like nothing could go wrong and it felt almost meant to be.
“If you asked me this morning what would have been the best-case scenario for these kids, I would not have been able to come up with all of this stuff,” Naughter said. “The kids love Tara and Kedz so the fact that they were able to celebrate and get the win today on Homecoming is just awesome because they deserve it.”
Montclair State currently sits at 7-1-1 and has everything going for them. The Red Hawks take on Arcadia University on Wednesday, Oct. 4, and their next New Jersey Athletic Conference game is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7 at MSU Soccer Park against Rowan University.