The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Saturday June 15th

TCNJ women’s lacrosse wins out to end the season

<p><em>Sophomore midfielder Sydney Vieja with the ball (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).</em></p>

Sophomore midfielder Sydney Vieja with the ball (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).

By Joey Bachich
Staff Writer

The women's lacrosse team season came to an end with wins against two of the tougher New Jersey Athletic Conference opponents away from home. The heated rivalry between the Lions and Rowan University always produces a fast high flying game on Wednesday. Kean University has had a revival season, doubling their win total from last year and was looking for an upset to land into the NJAC Tournament at home on Saturday.

The Lions first faced off against Rowan University on April 24 and with a win against their cross state rivals, they would clinch the NJAC title. The Profs did not roll the red carpet out for the Lions as they scored five goals, while only senior nursing major Madison Wernick scored to keep the Lions close to Rowan early. Sophomore nursing major Marissa Lucca and senior nursing major Natalie Berry both got on the board late, but it was not enough to stop the onslaught that Rowan had in the first quarter, going up a shocking 7-3. 

The second quarter was more of a battle of the defense as senior goalie and special education major Julia Charest had four saves in the quarter. Wernick and Lucca each scored again early in the quarter, but then saw a long drought of scoring from both teams. Freshman mechanical engineering major CJ Kole finally broke the five minute goal drought and the Lions ended the half down 9-6 after a late goal from Rowan. 

The third quarter started a great defensive half for the Lions after a tough first half. Senior nursing major Morgan Vaccaro scored early, and it got the Lions rolling, with another goal by fifth-year nursing major Katherine Naiburg getting the Lions within one. Rowan had a goal that was answered right back by Naiburg with her second goal in under three minutes. Both teams then again hit a drought for six minutes without a goal. Berry and Kole then went back-to-back to take the lead for the first time all game, going up 11-10 at the end of the half. 

The fourth quarter was started off by Rowan, who scored early to tie the game. The Lions then dominated the rest of the quarter, scoring the next four goals and finally putting the game to bed. Senior secondary education major Ally Tobler finally got on the board to put the Lions up by three less than 20 seconds after Vaccaro put them up by two. The Lions finished the game winning 15-11 and clinched the NJAC title. 

The Lions then traveled to Kean University to finish the regular season off with a matchup against the Cougars. Kean has been having a really good year after their down 4-12 season in 2023. 

Kean came out firing against the Lions, putting up two goals in two minutes early on. Lucca and Naiburg scored early as well to keep the game tied. The Lions then went on a 15-0 run and put the game to bed right before halftime. The rest of the game at that point was out of reach and the Lions cruised into the NJAC tournament off of a four-game win streak. Tobler and Lucca both had a staggering nine points with Vaccaro, Berry, Kole, Naiburg and Wernick also having multi-point games. 

The Lions now look to the NJAC Tournament where they play Montclair State. If they win, the winner of Rowan against Stockton. Stockton with their new staff and Rowan with their tough way of play should be the best game of the tournament. The final should include the Lions barring a major upset and Rowan again for a rematch of the past couple of finals. Stockton has had a great season and should give Rowan a tough game. 

Looking forward to the NCAA Tournament, the Lions need some things to break their way to get back to the Final Four. While this team has shown growth and ability to beat ranked teams, the high-end opponents have stumped the Lions. If they can break through and beat a top 10 team in the tournament, this team has the potential to make a run deep into May.


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