Rowan Eliminated by Middlebury 4 – 0 in Final Four Game
GLASSBORO, NJ 11/18/2022 –
The opportunity for Rowan was in front of them. The team won the NJAC Championship, advanced to the tournament Final Four, and the game was on their home field. And the Profs dedicated themselves to winning the NCAA Division III Field Hockey title. But standing in front of them was the defending national champion Middlebury Panthers.
The dream did not come true as second-seeded Panthers won 4 – 0 at Coach Wackar Stadium. Middlebury will go to the championship final against Johns Hopkins on Sunday. Rowan finishes the season 21 – 2.
Quick Start for Middlebury
The Panthers got the first goal of the game at the 4:11 mark from Audrey Lazar off a rebound. She followed that with a chip shot just under 8 minutes later. Middlebury was using their speed on offense to their advantage.
“I think it took us a little bit to find how the game was going to go,” said Rowan Coach Michelle Andre.
We’re used to doing that to other teams and that team did that to us. We were on our heels to start out and had trouble getting going at the beginning of the game.”
Rowan adjusted and kept the score at 2 – 0 going into halftime, but were outshot by a 9 – 3 margin.
Middlebury took control three and a half minutes into the third quarter when Lazar posted a hat trick deflecting the ball into the net.
“I think that is a bit of a story,” Middlebury Coach Katharine DeLorenzo said. “I thought we had good one-on-one opportunities. Sometimes two-on-one opportunities. And our speed showed up well in that half of the field.”
Middlebury Kept the Pressure Going on Offense
The Panthers outshot the Profs 16 – 11, and 12 of those shots were on goal. Rowan goalie Abby Hainsworth made 7 saves keeping her team in contention.
“I think every shot is the same for me,” Hainsworth said. “Especially working off my defensive team, and keeping that communication up. There were a few that were unexpected, but I still have trust in my defense.”
Panthers Defense Limited Profs Offense
When Rowan was able to get chances Panthers goalie Grace Harlan came up with difficult saves. She had 6 for the game.
The Middlebury defense kept Profs leading scorers Kristiina Castagnola and Julia Patrone in check yielding one shot to each player.
The Rowan Season
The Profs fell short of the ultimate goal of winning it all. However, the team had a number one ranking in October. They won the league and conference tournament. The Profs advanced two games to get to the Final Four. The loss stings, but there are good things to remember. And one game does not define a season.
“I am so proud of what this team has accomplished because we took immediately saying from last November when we lost in the Final Four, we said we’re coming back for vengeance,” said Castagnola. “And that was felt the entire season even when we would win games eight zero. We still weren’t pleased. We were like there’s more room for improvement to be done. And that’s the thing I am most prideful in because we showed how much this team has grown over the years. Being able to make adjustments is really a positive thing for us. And I’m pretty proud of that.”
The Rowan Future
The Profs advanced to the Final Four in two consecutive years. They lost twice this season, and did not get shutout until the last game. Coach Andre wants to continue to build and maintain a Rowan field hockey standard. And this team accomplished that.
“They’ve held it up phenomenally well not just on the field, but off the field as well,” Andre said. “They’re gold standard in how they uphold Rowan’s traditions.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian