#15 Lions of TCNJ Upset #5 Falcons of Messiah
Ewing, NJ - The Messiah Falcons continued their brutal first-half schedule, playing another top-ranked team on the road. This one was The College of New Jersey Lions, and the Lions beat the Falcons by a 2-1 score, giving Messiah (5-3) its third loss of the season.
The Falcons went down early in this contest and never came back, dropping its third game of the season, the first time Messiah has had three losses this early in the season since 2007.
The 15th ranked Lions jumped on the scoreboard just 77 seconds into the game and never trailed after that despite Messiah controlling the ball for much of the game – The Falcons won the advantage in shots (13-9) and penalty corners (14-6), but ultimately couldn’t capitalize on it.
“We had all these shots and corners, but we just didn’t convert like we needed to in order to win the game,” said Messiah assistant Brooke Good.
After that first goal, the Falcons managed to hold the Lions off the board for the rest of the first half, but a goal by TCNJ early in the second half put the Falcons down by two scores, a deficit Messiah could not overcome.
Messiah junior midfielder Kelly Martin struck with a goal at the 58:19 mark, giving momentary life to the Falcons, who were within one goal of the Lions.
“We took a little to get used to the field turf, but we’ve played on it before and I thought we were getting much better around the 10-minute mark,” Trapp said.
TCNJ held tough for the remainder of the game though, giving Messiah just a 2-3 record on the road compared to 3-0 at home.
“We did everything we could, and I thought we actually played pretty well, but we just couldn’t come back,” Good said. “It took awhile for us to get used to the surface, as it was a slower surface, but it didn’t harm our play. We just didn’t get into a groove like we should have.”
The defense played well for the day, holding the Lions to nine shots and six penalty corners.
“They scored the first goal off a corner we had practiced, and we’re just focusing on trying to get better at that,” Good said. “The defense had an all out great day though. All three defenders for us did a phenomenal job.”
“This was probably the (physically) roughest game we have ever played,” said Jan Trapp, Messiah’s head coach. “It was difficult to overcome the extenuating circumstances but the girls rose above and never retaliated and, for that, I was very proud of them.”
The Falcons will host Eastern University in a home matchup on Tuesday. Eastern handed Messiah a rare loss last year, beating the Falcons 1-0 in the third game of the season.
Game time for is slated for 4 p.m. on Anderson Field.