A first-half offensive surge carried the Montclair State University women’s lacrosse team to a convincing 15-4 victory over the Ramapo College Roadrunners on a rainy Tuesday at Sprague Field. The Red Hawks improved to 9-7 overall, as well as secured a spot in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament, as they are now 3-2 in conference play.
The win was even sweeter for the Red Hawks considering it was the team’s senior night, with seven seniors being honored before the start of the game.
Senior attack Chelsea Orban, who led both teams in goals with four, knew that despite this being a night for the seniors, they needed a full-team effort to win this game.
“We needed to win this as a team, and we really made that a focal point coming into this game,” Orban said. “It means the world for me to finish my career with these [women].”
Montclair State scored early and often in the first half, with seven players scoring. Sophomore midfielder Brittany Costigan would start off the scoring spree at 29:04, which was quickly followed by goals from Orban and junior attack Megan Mahlstadt. Five of Montclair State’s 11 first-half goals were scored within the first five minutes of the game.
Midway through the half, the Red Hawks would go on another scoring spree, as senior attack Casey Provost would nail a beautiful shot off an amazing pass from Orban to make it 6-0 with 13:16 remaining in the half. Five more goals would be scored in the last 13 minutes of the half to make it an 11-1 lead for the Red Hawks going into the second half.
Head coach Nicol Parcelluzzi believed that the team controlling their emotions from senior night led to their hot start offensively.
“Early in the game, our shot selection wasn’t always great, but we really got it back on track later on in the half,” Parcelluzzi said. “We just had to stay composed and wait for the good shots to come.”
Any hopes of a Ramapo comeback in the second half was quickly erased when senior midfielder Jessica Andreula would quickly score a goal at 29:08, along with a Mahlstadt goal at 26:49 to give Montclair State a commanding 13-1 lead.
Montclair State would rest their starters for the majority of the second half, giving several underclassmen and other non-senior starters a chance to shine throughout the game. Ramapo would take advantage and score three goals in the half, with junior midfielder/attack Nicole Jaskot scoring twice in the half for Ramapo. However, the game was well-decided before then as the Red Hawks cruised their way to victory.
Much of the credit should also go to Montclair State’s stout defense, which forced 17 turnovers throughout the entire game and made life extremely difficult for the Roadrunners offensively.
Coach Parcelluzzi credited the team’s experienced defense as the reason why Montclair State was able to limit the Roadrunners on the offensive end.
“We have three senior starters on the defensive, and they are really our leaders on that [side of the ball],” Parcelluzzi said. “They stayed composed and they were able to force a lot of turnovers.”
With the big win, Montclair State moves from fifth to third place in the conference and will be able to clinch the third seed with a win over Stockton on April 26.
Mahlstadt, who scored her 100th career point in the first half of the game, understands the importance of beating Stockton and finishing the regular season on a high note going into tournament play.
“It’s going to be a team-oriented game for sure,” Mahlstadt said. “Everyone is going to have to be on the same page and play a full 60 minutes for us to come out on top.”