Rowan Field Hockey Gears up for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament

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Rowan's Kristiina Castagnola going around two Kean defenders during the NJAC Championship game. Castagnola would score the game-winning goal last Saturday to win the Championship for Rowan. Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. - Multimedia Editor / Nick Feldman

Don’t worry, Rowan University field hockey is not done yet. In a way, they have only just begun.

The Profs will begin their play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Tournament when they face the winner of State University of New York College at Cortland versus Ohio Wesleyan University this Saturday, Nov. 13.

The Profs are going into the game riding the high of their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship Tournament win over Kean University in overtime this past weekend. Forward Kristiina Castagnola, a senior who scored the overtime goal in the championship game, is eager to take the first step towards continued glory with her teammates.

“As a team, we’re so excited to have gotten into the NCAA tournament,” Castagnola said. “My feelings about playing this weekend are again excited and ready. We’ve been preparing for this all year and it is time for us to start the next chapter of our journey.”

Their win on Saturday was their 14th in a row. Due to the successes in their season so far, they were able to secure a first-round bye. 

The team plans on using the week “off” to their advantage as much as possible. 

“We’re utilizing this first-round bye by letting our bodies recover a bit, as well as cleaning up the small things that will help us be successful this upcoming weekend,” Castagnola said.

The NCAA tournament brings teams from colleges and universities all over the nation together to face off. The teams the Profs will face this weekend are not the same teams they know from the regular season and the NJAC tournament.

No matter the opponent, the approach is the same for the team: to focus on the things crucial to them. It is not only about worrying who they will be up against in the next game, but how they can come out firing against them.

Preparations for the NCAA tournament include watching film, fixing the problems they need to fix – which include improving their corners – and anticipating taking on anything that comes their way.

This preparation leaves Castagnola confident that the Profs are really the team that others should be anxious to face. 

“I believe other teams should be worried about how we are able to come back from a goal deficit and that we never give up,” Castagnola said. 

The second-round game will take place in Glassboro at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 13. Although it might be cold, prepare to feel the heat from this intense matchup as both Rowan and their opponent seek victory.

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