UNION, N.J. (10/1/16) – Shauna LaMaina had a hand in every goal – including the unassisted overtime game-winner – as the Kean University field hockey team continued its perfect season with a 3-2 victory over NJAC rival Rowan University on Saturday.
In a match that was the first conference action of the year and pitted the undefeated Cougars against the perennial powerhouse Profs (entered 8-2 and No. 15 nationally), the first half more than lived up to the billing:
The Cougars got out to an impressive start, with a great individual effort by Shauna LaMaina. The junior juked two defenders before getting a falling, backhanded shot off the turf and above the plywood for the first goal of the game at 10:49.
Five minutes later, LaMaina led another charge toward the Rowan goal. This time, she dropped a good pass for Lia DiPiazza (pictured left) on the left side and she ripped a long shot high into the netting for a quick 2-0 lead.
At that point, Kean hadn't given up a shot and the ball had barely left the Prof zone.
Rowan generated just one shot in the first 30 minutes of gametime, but that volley went for a goal. Jaqui Rosato scored on a corner set up by Julie Johnson to cut the Kean lead in half. The teams went into the locker room with that score: 2-1 Kean.
The Cougars also dominated the second period, outshooting Rowan 7-1 in the final 35 minutes. But once again, the Profs made their shot count: Johnson earned her second assist by setting up Skylar Pitino off a corner to knot the game at 52:27.
Goaltenders Erin Smith and Carley DeMarco kept the rest of regulation scoreless, and the teams moved into the sudden-death overtime period.
Kean also had the better run of play in the overtime, but the first minute went by uneventfully. Both teams were down players due to green cards picked up during regulation time.
On a seemingly innocuous play, Rowan was in the process of clearing the ball out of the circle. But LaMaina stole the ball just outside the offensive zone, turned around, gained the zone and ripped a shot into the far-side plywood for the game-winner. The Cougars poured off the bench to revel in their victory over Rowan.
The Profs are now 8-3 on the season and the Cougars are 10-0. It was both teams' first NJAC contest of the year.
Kean will continue conference action on Tuesday with a trip to Ramapo College at 4 p.m.