The Red Hawks’ attempt at four straight wins fell short in a 8-6 loss in their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opener against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).
The Lions offense took off right away with three unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes of action, thanks to back-to-back goals by junior attacker Mia Blackman and graduate attacker Erin Waller. With just 19:52 left in the half, the Lions had a commanding 3-0 lead.
The Red Hawks and Lions would then go scoreless for 12 minutes. With 7:30 left in the half, senior midfielder Kara Crampton put the Red Hawks on the board with her first goal of the afternoon and cut the deficit to 3-1.
As the half drew down to the final minutes, Waller gave the Lions her second goal of the game, and TCNJ went into halftime with a 4-1 lead.
The Red Hawks struggled in the first half, as the Lions outshot the Red Hawks 9-2 on net, and the Red Hawks committed 9 turnovers.
The Red Hawks struck first in the second half when senior midfielder Kasey Maguire scored her first goal of the afternoon in the first 54 seconds of the half. Maguire’s goal cut the lead in half to 4-2.
The Lions responded with three more unanswered goals between the fourth and sixth minutes of the half, courtesy of senior midfielder Meghan Devlin, senior attacker Cortney Natalicchio and freshman midfielder Kathleen Jagger. In three minutes, the Lions increased their lead to 7-2, and the Red Hawks three-game win streak was in danger.
Following a goal by Montclair State junior attacker Aviana Paraggio to cut the Lions lead to 7-3 with 17:51 remaining, the Lions responded two minutes later when Devlin scored her second goal of the game to increase TCNJ’s lead to 8-3.
The Red Hawks were not done fighting. With 13:05 to go, the Red Hawks’ offense finally emerged onto the scene. Montclair State’s run began with back-to-back goals from junior midfielder Francesca Verrone, and Paraggio added to the run with her second goal of the afternoon. The Red Hawks’ three unanswered goals shrunk the deficit to two with 7:25 remaining in the contest.
The Red Hawks comeback, however, would fall short. The Lions shut down the Red Hawks’ red hot offense in the last seven minutes of the contest to hang on for an 8-6 win in the NJAC opener.
Montclair State’s Paraggio and Verrone had productive outings, as they each scored two goals in the loss. Montclair State’s offense was not as productive, as they were outshot 14-9 on net.
The Red Hawks committed 15 turnovers in the contest.
With their most recent loss, Montclair State now has a 7-4 record and an 0-1 conference record. The Red Hawks will look to get back on track in Glassboro on April 16 against NJAC rival Rowan University at 1 p.m.