By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: November 8th, 2014 at 7:46 pm EST
Ewing, NJ – The College of New Jersey field hockey team is the NJAC Champions.
In her final regular season game at Lions Stadium, Senior forward Erin Healy made it a memorable one. She scored the game-winning goal with 1:42 left in 7-on-7 overtime.
Healy’s heroics gave the Lions a 3-2 win over Rowan University in the NJAC Conference Championship game.
“It’s an unreal feeling,” Healy said. “We haven’t won since the Seniors were Freshman (2011), so with the excitement of overtime, it was nerve-racking. Seeing the ball go in the net for the game-winner, it was great! It was a team win, and I can’t say enough for my teammates for putting in the position to score that goal.”
On Monday, they will find out who their opponent will be for the weekend’s games. The games will likely take place on Saturday morning at 10 am and 1 pm at Lions Stadium with the winners advancing to a Sunday showdown.
“We’re excited for the opportunity,” Healy acknowledged. “We knew if we won this game, it would clinch home field advantage next weekend. That’s what we all wanted. But today, we had to focus on the task at hand.”
This is the first time TCNJ advanced to the Division III field hockey tournament since 2011. That year, they ended up winning the National Championship over Bowdoin.
Last year, they thought they would get an invite after Montclair State was crowned NJAC Champions. However, that did not happen.
“I wouldn’t call it revenge,” Coach Sharon Pfluger said. “I would definitely say it motivated them so much that every girl had it on their mind all season long. The whole team is basically back, as we just lone one senior Sarah Cummings after last season. Plus, as the season has gone on, they have gotten better.”
In overtime, the Profs had the early advance, as it looked like the Lions players were out of gas. Towards the end, with Rowan a player down, things started to favor the home team.
Then, that’s when Healy scored.
In the second half, the Profs had 7 corners within a several minute span, including five straight at one point. The Lions would not yield a goal during this time.
“That was extremely stressful,” Coach Pfluger said. “I wanted them to stay study and have good fundamentals each time they were awarded a corner. Normally, they would get one or two – but five, that was extremely tough on the girls. They were doing a lot of running back and forth – causing them to be exhausted. That could have given Rowan an advantage, but thankfully, we didn’t give in. I was happy to see that.”
Fellow Lions Senior Lindsay Hatch tied the game at 2-2 with 14:56 in the second. Sophomore Danielle Andreula assisted on the play.
“It was a big goal for us,” Coach Pfluger added. She was at the right place at the right time. She’s so skillful, and when we’re close to the goal, we know she can score. We can count on that.”
Just seconds into the half, Profs Johanna James scored for a 2-1 lead. Sam Browne passed the ball to James, before she scored for the lead.
Andreula scored with 8:44 left in the first half to tie the game for the Lions. Erin Waller assisted on the goal.
Browne scored Rowan’s first goal at 30:45 into the first. Erika Mecchella passed the ball to Browne, before she scored for the assist.
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