Lacrosse secures home field advantage in NJAC tournament

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After suffering a demoralizing 17-11 loss to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) at home, the Rowan lacrosse team was able to bounce back with a 9-8 overtime win against Montclair State University.

“I think they fought to the end and they played really well (against TCNJ),” said head coach Lindsay Delaney. “I think the difference was their shot selection versus our shot selection. They shoot a lot, TCNJ, and I think Reilly [Shaup], our goalkeeper, kind of got caught off guard in the second half. She’s a freshman and was in a really big game.”

Shaup has played in the last four games for the Profs, including starting the last three. She’s given up 35 goals in 233 minutes and 32 seconds of play.

The game against Montclair was a brutal affair, since the state college is considered an archrival.

“That’s a nasty game,” Delaney said. “It’s a nasty game. It’s really physical. They come at our bodies really hard. Not our best shot selection, not our best defensive performance, but to come out, finally, with a win in a close game was huge for them that in and of itself. No matter who it was against. It was great it was against Montclair, great it was for second place in the NJAC, but it was time for us to come up with one of those games.

Senior midfielder Taylor Gretz scored the game-winning goal in overtime, with just five seconds to complete the hat trick. Senior attack Mikala Gillespie also netted three for the Brown and Gold.

“We had to get a good result from that game [with TCNJ],” Gretz said. She also earned NJAC Player of The Week honors. “After that it didn’t really matter how we played that game because Montclair was coming at us guns blazing regardless.”

“I actually didn’t realize it had went in until I got hugged when it went in,” she continued. “But every goal in a one-goal game is a game-winning goal.”

A win against Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday will set Rowan up to secure the second seed in the NJAC, which would give them home field advantage in the tournament.

“[I’m] extremely confident,” Gretz said. “Hopefully we’ll be hosting next Wednesday. I’m expecting to see the NJAC championship game the next Saturday.”

“We’ll win tomorrow,” Delaney said prior to the game on Monday. “Tomorrow we’re gonna work on some things to be better and the same thing with Catholic [University]. They knocked us out of NCAA’s last year so it’s an emotional game for the seniors.”

In terms of their approach, Delaney said it won’t change.

“We’ll continue to prepare and be better at the end of the day than we were at the beginning of the day,” she said.

The team completed a 20-2 rout of Rutgers-Camden, going up 13-1 at halftime and starting the game on a 10-0 run. Now, they are locked into the second seed in the NJAC Playoffs.

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