The Cabrini women’s field hockey team played an enthusiastic game against The College of New Jersey under the lights on Thursday, Oct. 21. The score was a 4-0 loss. However, this was one of the most aggressive games the women have recently played.
Cabrini has had some history with TCNJ. They have played them for the past three years and every game has gotten more and more intense.
In 2008 Cabrini lost 8-0 and in 2009 Cabrini beat TCNJ 1-0 in overtime, winning the CSAC championship. During this year’s matchup, the score of the game didn’t do the team justice.
“I thought it was a learning experience. Last year they underestimated us and this year they didn’t underestimate us at all and gave us a hard fight. We lost 4-0 but we never let up,” Stephanie Campanaro, junior exercise science major, said.
The players have been anticipating this game with mixed feelings but they never doubted themselves once. They knew playing against this team was going to be a great challenge and the teamwork that was shown proves their determination.
Freshman Erin McLaughlin, who played most of the game, was nervous coming into the game. Since this is her first year playing field hockey for Cabrini, she wasn’t sure what to expect due to the intense rivalry.
“I don’t think the score reflected how we played. We kept up with them considering they’re not in our division,” McLaughlin, freshman exercise science major, said.
“Last year Cabrini beat them so we knew that we could do it again. We definitely knew they were coming out to get us and out for blood.”
“Coming into the game I was mostly excited. They had everything to lose and we had nothing to lose. It has never been a dull moment with TCNJ,” Campanaro said.
It hasn’t just been the players who have been anticipating this game. They had the fans on the edge of their seats throughout the whole season.
After playing Gwynedd-Mercy on Saturday, Oct. 16 Cabrini stole their No. 1 spot with a 4-1 win.
“The Cabrini girls are playing great right now. They are playing against the No. 12 team in the nation and they are holding their own,” Lori Rodolico, mother of team-captain Allie Rodolico, said.
“Even though it is the second half of the game right now and they are not winning, I definitely think there is a chance for a comeback. I think they are playing just the way they should be right now,” Linda Gordon, mother of player Maura Gordon, said.
The moms have been to every single game so far this season cheering on the players. They all agree that their favorite game of the season has been when the team played Gwynedd-Mercy.
Senior goalie Caitlin Donahue saved 13 shots during the game. In 2009 Donahue won NCAA Statistical Champion in save percentages and CSAC Honorable Mention selection. She was also nominated for CSAC player of the week on Oct. 26 and student-athlete of the week on Oct. 27 of 2009.
Deanna Balerno, who is a senior at Temple University, makes sure she comes to a game at least once a season to watch Donahue, her best friend, play.
“The game is exciting so far and the fans are intense. The goalie had some great saves and everyone looks really into the game,” Balerno said.
“TCNJ is a really fast team but Cabrini is definitely keeping up with them. I think the girls will make it to playoffs and it just gives me another reason to come back.”
The best influences who motivate the girls to do their best are the coaches. Jackie Neary is the head coach, followed by two assistant coaches, Kerry Jarema and Julie Smith.
“I am so proud of the girls’ effort tonight. TCNJ is a ranked team and we knew that they were going to come out hard on us, especially since we beat them last year. Unfortunately we did not win tonight but I am very optimistic and pleased,” Smith said.
All the parents agree that these are the best coaches for the players. They wouldn’t want anyone else coaching Cabrini women’s field hockey and they have inspired them throughout everything, win or lose.
“Our coaches give us the best leadership and we all pick off of that including our seniors who we look up to,” Gordon, junior exercise science major, said. “
“We especially look up to our captain Allie Rodolico. She is graduating in May and will definitely be missed by everyone on the team. She is not just a captain but a very good friend.”