Rowan Stuns No. 1 (Not for Long) TCNJ
from press release
EWING, N.J. -- Being a top-ranked team playing
at Lions’ Stadium has not been a safe position to be in the
last five days. After knocking off then top-ranked Salisbury, the
Lions moved into that spot and fell victim to an upset as visiting
Rowan University pulled out a 12-11 win on Thursday.
The loss was the first of the season for the Lions, as they dipped to 10-1 overall, while it was also the program’s first loss in the brief tenure of the sport in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. TCNJ is now 2-1 in conference play after winning their initial six NJAC contests.
The win kept the Profs unbeaten in conference play at 3-0, while they moved to 8-4 overall.
In the first half, the Profs grabbed the lead at 3-2 on a goal off the stick of Nicole Valianti (Oaklyn, NJ/Collingswood) with 24:02 left in the half and they would never relinquish that advantage the rest of the game.
Rowan added to that lead holding a four-goal advantage on two different occasions before the Lions made a late push to close that gap to 8-7 at the break.
Sophomore Leigh Mitchell (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape) played a big role in the comeback as she scored three of the team’s final four goals of the period, while assisting on a score by sophomore Kathleen Notos (Pennsauken, NJ/Camden Catholic).
In the second half, the teams went back-and-forth with Rowan opening the scoring in the fresh period on a goal by Valianti making it 9-7.
A low shot by TCNJ’s Ali Jaeger (Hampton, NJ/North Hunterdon) closed the gap to 9-8 and the teams would follow that theme the rest of the half.
Each time the Profs score a goal to push the margin back to two, the Lions would again get it back as this happened four times in the period.
The final surge by the Lions came with the Profs protecting a 12-10 lead as Mitchell set up senior Lisa Seldeen (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) for a goal with 1:21 remaining. TCNJ, however, was unable to get that equalizer as Rowan won the ensuing draw control and ran out the remaining time on the clock securing the upset.
Mitchell led all players offensively as she racked up seven goals and two assists for a nine-point performance. Notos chipped in with a pair of goals.
Valianti topped the Profs with four goals, while Ellen Brigham (Oakton, VA/Oakton) recorded the hat trick.
In goal for the Profs, sophomore Kerry Pehnke (West Windsor, NJ/West Windsor-Plainsboro North) made nine saves for the win.
Between the pipes for the Lions, Mary Waller (Bel Air, MD/C. Milton Wright) recorded five saves.
TCNJ travels to Frostburg State University for a non-conference game on Saturday, April 17, while the Profs don’t play again until April 20 hosting Catholic University.
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