Trying to snap a two-game losing streak, the Red Hawks field hockey team hosted the Muhlenberg College Mules on Friday. Both teams came into the match with winning records, Montclair State was at 6-3 while the Mules were sitting at 7-2. The game went the distance as Montclair State won 4-3 in shootout fashion after being down two goals early.
Keely Winn, senior midfielder/defender and team captain, shared her thoughts on the win.
“The score wasn’t a reflection of how we were playing,” Winn said. “This was in response to being shut out at halftime.”
The Red Hawks ended the first quarter without a goal, while still leading the game in shots taken.
The relentless attacking of Muhlenberg College was led by junior forward Rachel Richards. She would be the first to score as she landed one in the back of the goal with 8:18 left in the second quarter. Mules junior back Morgan Tietz set it up with one of her two assists of the night.
With 53 seconds remaining in the half, Tietz completed her second assist on a corner to Mules sophomore midfielder/back Sarah Raab for her first goal of the game.
Going into the half, Montclair State was down by two goals yet still had seven shots to Muhlenberg’s three.
With the offense keeping up the pressure as they did in the first half, O’Reilly knew continuing to stick to the game plan would lead to future goals.
“We just need to continue to do the things we have been doing all season,” O’Reilly said.
Senior forward Kelly Watson scored in the tenth minute of the second half for Montclair State. It was assisted by junior forward Kellie Vizzuso, making this the first of her two assists throughout the game.
The Red Hawks coming into the game had an on-goal percentage of .705. They haven’t ended a season above .700 since 2015 when the team had a percentage of .738.
With 5:06 left in the half, The Mules foiled the excitement with Richards’ second goal of the night and fifth on the season. This gave Muhlenberg a 3-1 lead.
However, with :17 left in the period, Vizzuso found Watson off a corner, and Watson put the Red Hawks back in striking distance.
“Everyone had each other’s backs, our confidence was so high, we still never felt like we were going to lose the game,” Nicole Andriani, the Red Hawks senior goalkeeper, said.
After giving up two goals in the second period, Andriani went on to have a flawless fourth period allowing nothing through.
On the other side of the ball, Watson did it again completing the hat trick on a strike from inside the circle with 12 minutes left in the final period. Watson has scored six times this season, a career-high.
Red Hawks junior forward Elizabeth Cimilluca had the assist on the play. Cimilluca was subbed in for Vizzuso, who had the other two assists of the night.
There was no offense from the Red Hawks in the first 10 minute frame of overtime. The pressure was on the goalie to let nothing go through as Andriani did just that, halting any chance of a breakthrough for the Mules.
The offense picked up a little in the second overtime period by taking three shots, but were still unable to get on target. Muhlenberg stayed silent as well, sending the match into a shootout.
After Andriani and the Mules senior goalkeeper Jordan Segrave both had three saves apiece, Montclair State broke through first with a score from Cimilluca. That was all that was needed as Andriani let up no goals the rest of the way.
The Montclair State Red Hawks defeated the Muhlenberg College Mules 4-3 in a long and intense match that left fans shaking in their boots.